North Dakota census stats increase petition signature thresholds

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December 23, 2010

BISMARK, North Dakota: The United States Census numbers are in and for some states that means adjustments in Congressional seats as well as adjustments to initiative and referendum requirements.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau the state of North Dakota had 672,591 residents on April 1, 2010, a 4.7 percent increase from the 2000 count of 642,200 people.[1] In the last decade, initiative and referendum laws in the state required at least 12,844 valid petition signatures in order to qualify initiated state statutes or veto referenda. Initiated constitutional amendments, on the other hand, required 25,688 valid signatures.[2]

The census data, however, increased all petition signature thresholds. According to state officials, initiated state statutes and veto referenda are now required to collect a minimum of 13,452 signatures, while initiated constitutional amendments need 26,904.[2]

An estimated eight ballot iniatitives are being circulated but Secretary of State Al Jaeger said it is uncertain if the new signature requirements will apply to the existing measures. State officials said they are in the process of seeking legal advice about the matter.[3]

Year Constitutional mendment Initiated statute Veto referendum
2000-2010 25,688 12,844 12,844
2011 - 26,904 13,452 13,452

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