of the North Dakota Constitution
is entitled Powers Reserved to the People
and consists of ten sections.
|| Text of Section 1:
While the legislative power of this state shall be vested in a legislative
assembly consisting of a senate and a house of representatives, the people reserve the power to
propose and enact laws by the initiative, including the call for a constitutional convention; to
approve or reject legislative Acts, or parts thereof, by the referendum; to propose and adopt
constitutional amendments by the initiative; and to recall certain elected officials. This article is
self-executing and all of its provisions are mandatory. Laws may be enacted to facilitate and
safeguard, but not to hamper, restrict, or impair these powers.
|| Text of Section 2:
A petition to initiate or to refer a measure must be presented to the secretary
of state for approval as to form. A request for approval must be presented over the names and
signatures of twenty-five or more electors as sponsors, one of whom must be designated as
chairman of the sponsoring committee. The secretary of state shall approve the petition for
circulation if it is in proper form and contains the names and addresses of the sponsors and the
full text of the measure.
The legislative assembly may provide by law for a procedure through which the legislative
council may establish an appropriate method for determining the fiscal impact of an initiative
measure and for making the information regarding the fiscal impact of the measure available to
|| Text of Section 3:
The petition shall be circulated only by electors. They shall swear thereon
that the electors who have signed the petition did so in their presence. Each elector signing a
petition shall also write in the date of signing and his post-office address. No law shall be
enacted limiting the number of copies of a petition. The copies shall become part of the original
petition when filed.
|| Text of Section 4:
The petition may be submitted to the secretary of state if signed by electors
equal in number to two percent of the resident population of the state at the last federal decennial
|| Text of Section 5:
An initiative petition shall be submitted not less than ninety days before the
statewide election at which the measure is to be voted upon. A referendum petition may be
submitted only within ninety days after the filing of the measure with the secretary of state. The
submission of a petition shall suspend the operation of any measure enacted by the legislative
assembly except emergency measures and appropriation measures for the support and
maintenance of state departments and institutions. The submission of a petition against one or
more items or parts of any measure shall not prevent the remainder from going into effect. A
referred measure may be voted upon at a statewide election or at a special election called by the
|| Text of Section 6:
The secretary of state shall pass upon each petition, and if he finds it
insufficient, he shall notify the "committee for the petitioners" and allow twenty days for correction
or amendment. All decisions of the secretary of state in regard to any such petition shall be
subject to review by the supreme court. But if the sufficiency of such petition is being reviewed at
the time the ballot is prepared, the secretary of state shall place the measure on the ballot and no
subsequent decision shall invalidate such measure if it is at such election approved by a majority
of the votes cast thereon. If proceedings are brought against any petition upon any ground, the
burden of proof shall be upon the party attacking it.
|| Text of Section 7:
All decisions of the secretary of state in the petition process are subject to
review by the supreme court in the exercise of original jurisdiction. If his decision is being
reviewed at the time the ballot is prepared, he shall place the measure on the ballot and no court
action shall invalidate the measure if it is approved at the election by a majority of the votes cast
|| Text of Section 8:
If a majority of votes cast upon an initiated or a referred measure are
affirmative, it shall be deemed enacted. An initiated or referred measure which is approved shall
become law thirty days after the election, and a referred measure which is rejected shall be void
immediately. If conflicting measures are approved, the one receiving the highest number of
affirmative votes shall be law. A measure approved by the electors may not be repealed or
amended by the legislative assembly for seven years from its effective date, except by a
two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house.
|| Text of Section 9:
A constitutional amendment may be proposed by initiative petition. If signed
by electors equal in number to four percent of the resident population of the state at the last
federal decennial census, the petition may be submitted to the secretary of state. All other
provisions relating to initiative measures apply hereto.
|| Text of Section 10:
Any elected official of the state, of any county or of any legislative or county
commissioner district shall be subject to recall by petition of electors equal in number to
twenty-five percent of those who voted at the preceding general election for the office of governor
in the state, county, or district in which the official is to be recalled.
The petition shall be filed with the official with whom a petition for nomination to the office
in question is filed, who shall call a special election if he finds the petition valid and sufficient. No
elector may remove his name from a recall petition.
The name of the official to be recalled shall be placed on the ballot unless he resigns
within ten days after the filing of the petition. Other candidates for the office may be nominated in
a manner provided by law. When the election results have been officially declared, the candidate
receiving the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected for the remainder of the term. No
official shall be subject twice to recall during the term for which he was elected.