North Dakota Supreme Court to decide measure three’s future on the ballot

Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 8:39 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota ballot measure three is sparking controversy as its inclusion on the November ballot is up for debate.

The Supreme Court heard arguments over a lawsuit to exclude the measure that would change some fundamental voting practices.Those who filed the suit say people who signed the petition to get it on the ballot weren't given the required information.

The Brighter Future Alliance took on Secretary of State Al Jaeger and the Measure Three Sponsoring Committee in court.

But what does the court need to figure out in order to decide whether measure three can stay on the ballot or not? The main question: ‘did the petitioners include the required “full text of the measure” when asking people to sign on in support?

Brighter Future Alliance said they have the answer.

”It doesn’t say anything about the statute that’s incorporated into the constitution if it passes. And it uses terms that are so broad as to be effectively meaningless,” said the attorney for Brighter Future Alliance, David Asp.

But the opposing side says taking measure three off of the ballot would be unfair to voters and those who purposely signed the petition.

”They’re asking you to take a big step here taking away the vote on measure three after over 30,000 folks have signed this petition,” said the attorney for the Measure Three Sponsoring Committee, Timothy Purdon.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger did approve the measure’s placement on the ballot.

”He simply needed to review this measure to determine if it contained the full text. Based on that review, he did not find reason to reject it,” said the Al Jaeger’s attorney, David Phillips.

Phillips says the Secretary of State’s role is a neutral one that limits him to simply checking a petition’s sufficiency. The state Supreme Court will need to work quickly, as it needs to decide whether or not measure three can stay on the ballot by the end of this month.

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