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Term Limits for Governor, Legislature will be on the Nov. ballot

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Dave Thompson
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Attorney General Drew Wrigley, Secretary of State Al Jaeger and others discuss the Supreme Court decision on the term limit measure

An initiated state constitutional measure that would limit the Governor and state Legislators to two four-year terms will be on the general election ballot this fall.

That – after the state Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling, ordered that it be placed on the ballot.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger had rejected the measure, because of what he said were a number of handwriting irregularities, as well as “pay per signature” bonuses, paid to circulators, that are against state law.

District Judge James Hill had ruled Jaeger’s decision was correct, saying it was supported by the facts and prevailing law. But in a unanimous ruling, the high court said Jaeger did not have the discretion to disqualify all the signatures.

At a news conference, state Attorney General Drew Wrigley said the state will comply, even though he disagreed with the ruling. Wrigley said there is definite evidence of widespread fraud.

"The voters of North Dakota are going to consider amending the Constitution of North Dakota, despite the fact that this is widespread fraud across all of these fronts — which is uncontested by the parties that brought in the petition," Wrigley told reporters. "They don't even fight back against it. But they (Supreme Court) said, when it comes down to it, it's a math quiz."

Wrigley said Jaeger did his duty, under state law, because it said he can sample the petitions, and exercise discretion — but it's not enough.

In statements, both the chairman of Term Limits for North Dakota, Jared Hendrix, and the national group U. S. Term Limits, expressed their support for the court ruling.

The term limit measure will be “measure one” on the ballot. Number two will be the marijuana measure.

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