Ballot measures need more signatures thanks to ND population growth

State News

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You’ll need more signatures than before if you want to get a constitutional amendment or statutory initiative on the North Dakota ballot.

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger says the official numbers from the 2020 Census puts North Dakota’s population at 779,094.

That’s up about 17,000 over the 2019 population estimate of 762,062. And it’s well over 100,000 from the official 2010 Census population number of 672,591.

North Dakota’s constitution requires petitions for initiatives and measures contain a certain number of signatures before they can be placed on the ballot.

Since the population has gone up, so too have the required number of signatures.

According to Jaeger, the following are the new signature requirements based on the state’s constitutional requirements:

Constitutional amendments. Petitions need 4 percent of the resident population to sign. This means 31,164 signatures — 4,260 more signatures than were required by the 2010 census.

Statutory initiatives. Petitions need 2 percent of the resident population to sign. This means 15,582 signatures — 2,130 more signatures than were required by the 2010 census.

The change will affect two petitions currently circulating: One to change the way citizen-initiated measures are approved, the other to legalize the growth and possession of marijuana for personal use.

Both efforts will need the additional signatures based on the state’s larger population.

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