June 10, 2014 election results: Voters alter initiative process in North Dakota

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June 11, 2014

By Ryan Byrne

North Dakota
North Dakota's Measure 1 was hotly debated by Al Jaeger (R) and April Fairfield (D), two candidates for the office of the North Dakota Secretary of State in November 2014. The debated measure was designed to change the filing deadline for initiated petitions from 90 to 120 days before a statewide election and require that challenges to the secretary of state's decisions regarding ballot petitions be filed with the supreme court at least seventy-five days before the election.[1] Jaeger, the incumbent, supported the amendment. Fairfield, who is challenging Jaeger, opposed the measure, saying, "This measure may seem benign enough, but it’s not. What this measure actually does is strike a blow at the heart of a longstanding North Dakota tradition."[2] Ultimately, the majority of voters sided with Jaeger on June 10, 2014. Approximately 53.56 percent of voting constituents voted in favor of the amendment, while 46.44 percent voted against it.[3] With the approved changes in the filing deadline, North Dakota will be joining four other states - Arizona, Arkansas, Nebraska and Washington - with a petition circulation deadline set for around 120 days before general elections. Secretary of State Al Jaeger (R) was pleased with the amendment's approval. He stated, "It'll really make the integrity of the process much stronger, and that's what I was concerned about from the beginning."[4]

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