Measure 3 Proponents Didn’t Bother Asking Ethics Commission if They Want to Be in Charge of Redistricting

MINOT, N.D. — You may be reading my headline and wondering to yourselves what redistricting has to do with Measure 3, which its supporters, a committee funded by out-of-state groups calling itself North Dakota Voters First, have branded the “Help Heroes Vote” act.

If you signed the petition to put that proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot, you might have thought you were just supporting some reforms to ease the voting process for active members of the military, because that’s how the paid signature collectors pitched the measure.

You were duped.

It would reduce your representation in the state House of Representatives.

It would introduce ranked-choice voting for statewide elections, meaning winners on Election Day would be decided by a spreadsheet formula instead of a count of the votes.

It would allow candidates to hide their political leanings with an open primary process.

And, to the point of this column, it would move control of redistricting from the Legislature to the state’s newly formed ethics committee.

But did anyone bother to ask the ethics commission if they want to be in charge of redistricting? If they think it’s a good idea?

“To my knowledge, nobody reached out,” David Thiele, the executive director of the commission, told me this morning.

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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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