MINOT, N.D. — North Dakota’s initiated measure process is broken.
At best, it’s become a vehicle for billionaires get their hobby horse issues into our state constitution with paid signature collectors and slick marketing campaigns.
At worse, it’s a process that has an open door for fraud and other sorts of unethical manipulations.
We should stop trying to legislate at the ballot box. It’s one thing to gather signatures to refer some objectionable piece of legislation, or to recall an out-of-hand politician to the ballot, but to pass complicated pieces of public policy on a ballot already crowded with national, statewide, and local races?
It’s a terrible way for our state to do business. But I also realize this is a minority point of view. For some odd reason, people equate opposition to legislating at the ballot box to some besmirchment of the will of the people. It ain’t true but, alas, perception is reality.