The petition for the measure submitted to Secretary of State Al Jaeger by the sponsoring committee, North Dakota Voters First, was found to be in violation of a constitutional requirement that says the full text of the measure be provided in the petition.
In a statement, North Dakota Voters First Chairwoman Carol Sawicki said:
“To say we are disappointed in today’s ruling would be an understatement. We are disappointed for the 36,000 North Dakota Voters who signed out petition and for the North Dakota voters who will not be able to vote on Measure 3 in November.
“There can be little doubt that Measure 3 was a threat to political insiders and career politicians in North Dakota. The proof is in the way they banded together in a coordinated and unprecedented effort to ensure North Dakota voters never had the chance to cast their ballot.”
Meanwhile, Brighter Future Alliance, the conservative group that filed suit alongside three individuals, says the court order is a victory for voters.
“We are gratified the court agreed with our position to keep Measure 3 off the ballot. It was ill-conceived, poorly written and the forces behind the measure showed contempt for our initiated measure processes and safeguards. This outcome further demonstrates why we must not allow out-of-state special interests to tamper with our constitution and our elections to further their political agenda.”
Legal spokesperson for Brighter Future Alliance says the decision also calls into question the way voter-initiated ballot measures gain support.
Secretary of State Al Jaeger will have to remove the measure from the ballot before election day November 3.
“We’ll do what the court decided,” Jaeger said. “Their ruling is very specific in terms of why they decided what they did, so Measure 3 will not be on the ballot.”