‘We Are Receiving Complaints Almost Every Day,’ Sec. of State Says of North Dakota Voters First Ballot Measure

Dina Butcher, left, hands North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger a proposed petition for a ballot measure to add anti-corruption policies to the state constitution Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 at the state Capitol in Bismarck. John Hageman / Forum News Service

MINOT, N.D. — Earlier this month, I wrote a column about a complaint I’d received from a state lawmaker, among others, concerning a ballot measure being circulated for signatures to be eligible for the November ballot.

This measure, a constitutional amendment proposed by a group calling themselves (despite their out-of-state funding) North Dakota Voters First, would make numerous changes to state law.

Among other things, it would put the newly formed ethics commission in charge of redistricting.

It would create an open primary process that completely sidelines the political parties.

It would change our current voting model for general elections to a ranked-choice model.

Yet, when petitioners are asking North Dakotans for signatures, the only part of this measure they’re talking about is the “Help Heroes Vote” section, which would, for deployed members of the military, expand the voting window from 46 days preceding the election to 60 days.

This measure makes sweeping changes to the way we elect candidates in North Dakota, but many of the people signing the petition think they’re only supporting changes to military voting.

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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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