Jaeger Denies Measure For Change In Nd Constitution

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Secretary of State Al Jaeger on Monday denied a move by group that wants to change the voter threshold for amending the state constitution.

Jaeger said in a letter to the sponsoring committee that nearly 6,000 of the signatures were invalid. The committee last month delivered 910 petitions with a claimed 33,624 signatures, just over the 31,000 signatures that must be approved to get the proposed measure on the November ballot.

Jaeger said the final count of accepted signatures was 25,884. Ten petitions were thrown out because they were not circulated in their entirety and petitions turned in by three circulators were rejected for numerous errors, Jaeger said. Some of the petitions included signatures from residents of other states.

The citizen-led Protect North Dakota’s Constitution wants to require voter approval of constitutional amendments from a simple majority to 60% and limit a measure to a single subject. The group said a dozen constitutional amendments proposed since 2010 have been successful. Backers say the measures also often have contained multiple issues.

Citizen initiatives allow residents to bypass lawmakers and get proposed state laws and constitutional amendments on ballots if they gather enough signatures from voters.