BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — They gathered what they say is a record number of signatures for a measure to put term limits on the North Dakota ballot in November.

But Secretary of State, Al Jaeger disqualified all but around 17,000 signatures after he said there were too many signs of fraud. Jaeger testified on the matter in district court in August.

Friday, attorneys for both sides argued before the state supreme court.

The lawyer hired by the group ‘North Dakota for Term Limits’ pointed to Jaeger’s decision to throw out thousands of signatures on the basis of non-matching signatures, handwriting and address changes.

He argued that Jaeger is not a handwriting expert, and questioned why Jaeger didn’t contact circulators or the notary Zeph Toe before he disqualified the signatures.

“The secretary does have discretion to make a decision that a particular notary has shown so many instances of fraud, that nothing that notary notarized for purposes of this initiative can be trusted,” attorney David Phillips said. Phillips was hired to represent Jaeger.

“His decision was, ‘when I look at the handwriting, it is so different, I am so sure about my own initial opinion, that no affadavit will correct this,’ attorney Edward Greim said. “And that is a failure of due process because how can we even have a correction period?”

Justices are now considering the evidence and plan to make a ruling soon.

Phillips, who’s representing Al Jaeger’s office, reminded the justices that starting September 8, county auditors in North Dakota will begin putting together their November ballots.