As criminal investigation commences, term limits group rips decision to disqualify signatures

MINOT, N.D. — Yesterday, Secretary of State Al Jaeger blocked a ballot measure that would have implemented term limits for state lawmakers and the governor if passed.

Of the more than 46,000 signatures submitted by the ballot measure committee, Jaeger said only 17,265 could be authenticated. The rest were invalid for reasons ranging from notarized signatures “likely forged” to circulators paid per signature.

Under state law, petition circulators may be paid an hourly rate, but they cannot be paid per signature.

Jaeger’s office called the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation to help with this situation, and it’s clear that a criminal investigation has commenced. I requested a copy of the report BCI provided to Jaeger’s office before he decided to invalidate signatures. My request was denied, with a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office citing section 44-04-18.7 of the North Dakota Century Code as justification for the refusal .

That section relates to handling records related to “criminal intelligence information and criminal investigative information.”

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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