North Dakota signature requirements

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Signature requirements
(By state)

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North Dakota's signature requirements are based on the state's population as determined at the most recent federal decennial census. This means that unlike in other states where the signature requirement is more typically based on the number of voters in a recent election, signature requirements in North Dakota only change once every ten years. North Dakota is the only state where the number of required signatures is based on the state's overall population, rather than on the number of a state's registered voters, or number of votes cast in a recent election.

Federal offices

U.S. Senate and U.S. House

Partisan candidates must collect signatures equal to 3% of the total votes cast for the candidates for the same office and carrying the same political party affiliation at the last general election. However, no more than 300 signatures are required. If the office sought did not have a candidate with the same political party affiliation in the preceding general election, at least 300 signatures are required. Additionally, candidates endorsed by established political parties may file a Certificate of Endorsement with the Secretary of State to have their names placed on the primary election ballot in lieu of collecting signatures.[1]

Independent candidates must file a Petition/Certificate of Nomination (SFN 2704) containing the signatures of 1,000 qualified North Dakota electors.[1]

A person who intends to be a write-in candidate for Congress in the Primary Election shall file a Certificate of Write-In Candidacy with the Secretary of State by 4:00 p.m. on the 21st day before the Primary Election. The sworn Certificate of Write-In Candidacy must contain the complete address of the candidate. Additionally, a person who intends to be a write-in candidate for Congress in the General Election shall file a Certificate of Write-In Candidacy with the Secretary of State by 4:00 p.m. on the 21st day before the General Election. The certificate of Write-In Candidacy must contain the complete address of the candidate.[1]

Filing deadlines

2012

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2012 U.S. Congress elections

Partisan candidates had to file their petitions or nominations no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 13, 2012. Write-in candidates had to also file their nomination form by May 22, 2012 (to run in a primary) and October 16, 2012 (to run in a general election).[2]

Independent candidates had to file by 4:00 p.m. on the 60th day before the General Election. The filing deadline in 2012 was 4:00 p.m. on September 7, 2012.[2]

State offices

Statewide executive offices

Candidates may file a Petition/Certificate of Nomination with the Secretary of State containing signatures equal to 3% of the total votes cast for the candidates for the same office and carrying the same political party affiliation at the last general election. However, no more than 300 signatures are required. If the office sought did not have a candidate with the same political party affiliation in the preceding general election, at least 300 signatures are required. Additionally, candidates endorsed by established political parties may file a Certificate of Endorsement with the Secretary of State to have their names placed on the primary election ballot in lieu of collecting signatures.[3]

Independent candidates must file a Petition/Certificate of Nomination (SFN 2704) containing the signatures of 1,000 qualified North Dakota electors.[3]

State legislature

Candidates may file a Petition/Certificate of Nomination with their county auditor of residence containing signatures equal to 1% of the total population of the legislative district. However, no more than 300 signatures are required.[4]

Independent candidates must file a Petition/Certificate of Nomination (SFN 2704) containing the signatures equal to 2% of the total population of the legislative district. However, no more than 300 signatures are required.[4]

Signature deadlines

2012

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2012 state government elections

Partisan candidates had to file their petitions or nominations no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 13, 2012. Write-in candidates had to file their nomination form by May 22, 2012 (to run in a primary) and October 16, 2012 (to run in a general election).[2]

Independent candidates had to file by 4:00 p.m. on the 60th day before the General Election. The filing deadline in 2012 was 4:00 p.m. on September 7, 2012.[2]

How signatures are verified

There is no voter registration process in North Dakota. That means that, unlike other states where signatures on petitions are verified by comparing them to the voter registration signature on file for a particular voter, election officials in North Dakota are unable to perform such a comparison since there are no voter registration cards.

Instead, the North Dakota Secretary of State checks the validity of a random sample of the signatures on initiative petitions by questioning the voters who appear to have signed the petition. This process of verifying that a voter who appears to have signed a petition really did sign a petition may be done through post cards, telephone calls and personal interviews.

Ballot measures

Signature requirements

Petition signature requirements are based on the percentage of the resident population of the state of North Dakota at the last federal decennial census. According to 2010 census figures, the population of North Dakota was 672,591.[5] Therefore, the percentages and signature requirements are as follows:

  • Referral Petition, 2% of 672,591: 13,452
  • Statutory Initiative, 2% of 672,591: 13,452
  • Constitutional Initiative, 4% of 672,591: 26,904

Submission Deadlines

An initiative petition must be filed with the Secretary of State no later than one year from the date it is approved for circulation by the Secretary of State, NDCC 16.1-01-09(7). A referendum petition with the required number of signatures must be submitted within 90 days after the legislation being referred was signed by the Governor and filed with the Secretary of State.[5]

See also

External links

References