If you’re voting in the June Primary this year — and you should — and you haven’t already voted, please consider giving Constitutional Measure One a great big “No” vote. Why? Let me try to explain.
On your ballot, all you’re going to be told is this:
Okay, so what does that mean? What does it do “relating to changing the filing deadline for initiated petitions”?!? How does it “provide a timeline for challenges filed with the Supreme Court”? The ballot description is horrifically vague and innocuous. But the constitutional change is far from innocuous.
Let’s take a look at that.
Here’s the relevant text of the section and changes dealing with the deadline for filing initiated petitions:
SECTION 1. AMENDMENT. Section 5 of article III of the Constitution of North Dakota is amended and reenacted as follows:
Section 5. An initiative petition shall be submitted not less than ninety one hundred twenty days before the statewide election at which the measure is to be voted upon…
(Source) (stricken words will be removed; underlined words added)
So you ask yourself, “What does that do?”
Here’s what it does: When our government doesn’t act and the people finally get so disgusted with the government that they decide they want to change the law by submitting signatures and voting on an issue, right now they can just put together their petition and circulate it and submit the petition with all the signatures in early August. Anybody involved in these signature drives knows that the best time and place to get signatures is at large, Summer gatherings — like the State Fair in Minot, or the July 4th Parade in Mandan or the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo.
So, when are those things?
North Dakota State Fair 2014 — July 18 – 26
Red River Valley Fair 2014 — July 8 – 13
4th of July Parade — July 4th
Right now the deadline for submitting the petitions is early August. If this amendment is approved by the voters, the deadline will be 30 days earlier; so around July 5th or 6th or 7th, roughtly. So if this law is changed and you wanted to circulate your petitions to get an initiated measure on the November ballot, you would no longer be able to circulate your petitions at the State Fair or the Red River Valley Fair. You could still circulate your petitions at a big July 4th event, but you’d really have to have your ducks in a row to get them filed.
So why move the deadline up 30 days?!?
To make it harder for the citizens of North Dakota to pull the reins in on their corrupt, unresponsive government.
Will Al Jaeger or some other Republican have some bullshit reason they think the deadline should be moved up 30 days? Sure. …read more