Print Column: Initiated Measures Have Become the Domain of Rich Donors and Political Professionals


MINOT, N.D. — There are some who defend initiated ballot measures, the method through which distracted voters decide complicated policy questions, as some sort of an egalitarian ideal.

They want us to believe that legislating at the ballot box is the purest form of the people doing the people’s business. Something on a higher moral order than what is produced by all those greedy politicians in the North Dakota Legislature.

The ballot measure aficionados gloss over some glaring problems. Like voter apathy.

How many voters in a given election, do you suppose, could name their state lawmakers for you?

How many of the voters are casting ballots based on nothing more than political party affiliation?

These are the people we are asking to carefully weigh the ramifications of inserting complicated legal language into state statute, and even the state constitution?

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