of the North Dakota Constitution
is entitled Executive Branch
and consists of 12 sections.
|| Text of Section 1:
The executive power is vested in the governor, who shall reside in the state
capital and shall hold the office for the term of four years beginning in the year 2000, and until a
successor is elected and qualified.
|| Text of Section 2:
The qualified electors of the state at the times and places of choosing
members of the legislative assembly shall choose a governor, lieutenant governor, agriculture
commissioner, attorney general, auditor, insurance commissioner, three public service
commissioners, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, tax commissioner, and
treasurer. The legislative assembly may by law provide for a department of labor to be
administered by a public official who may be either elected or appointed.
The powers and duties of the agriculture commissioner, attorney general, auditor,
insurance commissioner, public service commissioners, secretary of state, superintendent of
public instruction, tax commissioner, and treasurer must be prescribed by law. If the legislative
assembly establishes a labor department, the powers and duties of the officer administering that
department must be prescribed by law.
|| Text of Section 3:
The governor and the lieutenant governor must be elected on a joint ballot.
Each vote cast for a candidate for governor is deemed cast also for the candidate for lieutenant
governor running jointly with the candidate for governor. The joint candidates having the highest
number of votes must be declared elected. If two or more joint candidates have an equal and
highest number of votes for governor and lieutenant governor, the legislative assembly in joint
session at its next regular session shall choose one pair of joint candidates for the offices. The
returns of the election for governor and lieutenant governor must be made in the manner
prescribed by law.
|| Text of Section 4:
To be eligible to hold an elective office established by this article, a person
must be a qualified elector of this state, must be at least twenty-five years of age on the day of
the election, and must have been a resident of this state for the five years preceding election to
office. To be eligible to hold the office of governor or lieutenant governor, a person must be at
least thirty years old on the day of the election. The attorney general must be licensed to
practice law in this state.
|| Text of Section 5:
The qualified electors shall choose the elected state officials at a time
designated by the legislative assembly. The elected state officials shall serve until their
successors are duly qualified. Terms of office of the elected officials except the public service
commissioners are four years, except that in 2004 the agriculture commissioner, attorney
general, secretary of state, and tax commissioner are elected to a term of two years. The terms
of the public service commissioners are six years, so arranged that one of them is elected every
two years. The terms of the governor and lieutenant governor begin on December fifteenth
following their election.
If two or more candidates for any executive office other than for governor and lieutenant
governor receive an equal and highest number of votes, the legislative assembly in joint session
shall choose one of them for the office.
|| Text of Section 6:
The elected state officials and the chief executive officers of the principal
departments shall hold office in the state capital.
|| Text of Section 7:
The governor is the chief executive of the state. The governor shall have the
responsibility to see that the state's business is well administered and that its laws are faithfully
The governor is commander-in-chief of the state's military forces, except when they are
called into the service of the United States, and the governor may mobilize them to execute the
laws and maintain order.
The governor shall prescribe the duties of the lieutenant governor in addition to those
prescribed in this article.
The governor may call special sessions of the legislative assembly.
The governor shall present information on the condition of the state, together with any
recommended legislation, to every regular and special session of the legislative assembly.
The governor shall transact and supervise all necessary business of the state with the
United States, the other states, and the officers and officials of this state.
The governor may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons. The governor may
delegate this power in a manner provided by law.
|| Text of Section 8:
The governor may fill a vacancy in any office by appointment if no other
method is provided by this constitution or by law. If, while the senate is recessed or adjourned, a
vacancy occurs in any office that is filled by appointment with senate confirmation, the governor
shall make a temporary appointment to the office. When the senate reconvenes the governor
shall make a nomination to fill the office. Except on request of the senate, no nominee rejected
by the senate may again be nominated for that office at the same session, nor may the nominee
be appointed to that office during a recess or adjournment of the senate.
|| Text of Section 9:
Every bill passed by the legislative assembly must be presented to the
governor for the governor's signature. If the governor signs the bill, it becomes law.
The governor may veto a bill passed by the legislative assembly. The governor may veto
items in an appropriation bill. Portions of the bill not vetoed become law.
The governor shall return for reconsideration any vetoed item or bill, with a written
statement of the governor's objections, to the house in which it originated. That house shall
immediately enter the governor's objections upon its journal. If, by a recorded vote, two-thirds of
the members elected to that house pass a vetoed item or bill, it, along with the statement of the
governor's objections, must immediately be delivered to the other house. If, by a recorded vote,
two-thirds of the members elected to the other house also pass it, the vetoed item or bill
While the legislative assembly is in session, a bill becomes law if the governor neither
signs nor vetoes it within three legislative days after its delivery to the governor. If the legislative
assembly is not in session, a bill becomes law if the governor neither signs nor vetoes it within
fifteen days, Saturdays and Sundays excepted, after its delivery to the governor.
|| Text of Section 10:
A governor who asks, receives, or agrees to receive any bribe upon any
understanding that the governor's official opinion, judgment, or action shall be influenced thereby,
or who gives or offers, or promises the governor's official influence in consideration that any
member of the legislative assembly shall give the member's official vote or influence on any
particular side of any question or matter upon which the member may be required to act in the
member's official capacity, or who menaces any member by the threatened use of the governor's
veto power, or who offers or promises any member that the governor will appoint any particular
person or persons to any office created or thereafter to be created, in consideration that any
member shall give the member's official vote or influence on any matter pending or thereafter to
be introduced into either house of the legislative assembly, or who threatens any member that
the governor will remove any person or persons from office or position with intent in any manner
to influence the action of that member, must be punished in the manner now, or that may
hereafter be, provided by law, and upon conviction thereof forfeits all right to hold or exercise any
office of trust or honor in this state.
|| Text of Section 11:
The lieutenant governor shall succeed to the office of governor when a
vacancy occurs in the office of governor. If, during a vacancy in the office of governor, the
lieutenant governor is unable to serve because of death, impeachment, resignation, failure to
qualify, removal from office, or disability, the secretary of state shall act as governor until the
vacancy is filled or the disability removed.
|| Text of Section 12:
The lieutenant governor shall serve as president of the senate. If the senate
is equally divided on a question, the lieutenant governor may vote on procedural matters and on
substantive matters if the lieutenant governor's vote would be decisive.
North Dakota Constitution