Petitions submitted for Constitutional amendment on voting

Jul 6, 2018

Voting amendment drive chairman Gary Emineth (l) and Lee Ann Oliver of the Secretary of State's office go over petitions submitted for the Constitutional amendment on voting.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A group calling itself “North Dakotans for Citizen Voting” has submitted petitions to get a Constitutional measure on the November ballot.

Supporters say it will strengthen the state’s Constitution on who is eligible to vote in any North Dakota election, laying out that only state residents can vote.

"While the Century Code does state that you have to be a citizen and a North Dakota resident, the Constitution is ambiguous," said group chairman Gary Emineth.

It needed just under 27,000 to get on the ballot. The group handed in petitions with nearly 36,000 signatures.

Emineth said the group spent around $250,000 for the initiative campaign – and that included paid circulators. He said the group used the consultant that helped the Marsy’s Law petitioners. And he said the plan is to raise another $150,000 to $200,000 to mount a campaign in favor of it.

"By voting for this measure, you've established that only a US citizen and a North Dakota resident can vote," Emineth said. "That includes all city and local elections."

Emineth said in cities like San Francisco, CA, there are moves underway to allow non-citizens to vote. He said his group wants to head that off here in North Dakota.

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