BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — Term limits for government roles will be on the election ballot this November, after a successful petition from North Dakota for Term Limits.
Term Limits for North Dakota is a proposed ballot measure that will restrict the roles of the North Dakota Governor, State House, and State Senate to two four-year term limits. In a 2020 survey of term limits in North Dakota, an overwhelming 83% of the respondents reported wanting term limits on the governor, and 82% supported term limits on the state lawmakers.
Following the attempts of Secretary of State Al Jaeger to reject thousands of signatures gathered by the North Dakota for Term Limits, a legal examination by the North Dakota Supreme Court recognized the unneeded scrutiny applied to the petition.
An opinion statement from the court reads as follows:
“The Secretary of State acknowledged his office has never before invalidated all petitions from a single notary, and he cited no authority from any jurisdiction in which a class of documents relating to a notary had been invalidated as a result of notarial fraud or other misconduct. Our research, both inside and outside the election context, has revealed no precedent supporting invalidation of a class of documents notarized by an individual notary on the basis of imputing fraud relating to some of the documents.” And, “We conclude the Secretary of State misapplied the law by imputing fraud from several inconsistent signatures of circulators on several affidavits sworn to before Toe and, as a result, disqualifying all 15,740 signatures on 751 petitions notarized by Toe. We grant the Committee’s petition and issue a writ of mandamus requiring the Secretary of State to place the Term Limits Initiative on the November 8, 2022, general election ballot.”
On the November ballot, residents will be able to vote on applying the term limits, which — if successful — will be applied to the winners of the next series of elections.
Currently, thirty-six states have some form of term limit on the office of governor. North Dakota is one of fourteen states that do not. There are fifteen states with term limits on the state legislature.