Becker backers may attempt an arcane rule change at NDGOP convention to circumvent the June ballot


Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, looks at the tally board on Tuesday during the 83-9 House vote on HB1169, a change to the North Dakota constitution allowing the carrying of a concealed firearm. Becker was a co-sponsor of the bill.

MINOT, N.D. — Hold on to your hats, folks, because this is going to be a wild ride through the byzantine rules of party conventions and our state’s candidate selection process, but you need to pay attention.

There is an effort afoot to circumvent North Dakota’s election laws that is not at all unlike disgraced former President Donald Trump’s conspiracy-addled and legally dubious efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

In our state, the primaries for the political parties, the contests which determine the candidates that will represent the parties on the November ballot, happen in June.

What, then, is the point of the endorsing conventions the political parties hold each cycle in late March and early April? The candidates selected at those events are automatically placed on the June ballot for their party’s nomination.

All other candidates seeking that nomination must collect signatures to make the June ballot. This means that candidates who lose the convention endorsement can still run for and receive the nomination from voters in June.

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