Article III, North Dakota Constitution

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North Dakota Constitution
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Article III of the North Dakota Constitution is entitled Powers Reserved to the People and consists of ten sections.

Section 1

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.[1][2]

Section 2

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 the public.[1][2]

Section 3

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.[1][2]

Section 4

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 census.[1][2]

Section 5

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 governor.[1][2]

Section 6

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.[1][2]

Section 7

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 thereon.[1][2]

Section 8

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.[1][2]

Section 9

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.[1][2]

Section 10

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.[1][2]

See also

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External links

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Additional reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 North Dakota Legislative Branch, "Article III, North Dakota Constitution", accessed March 25, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.