Group asks state Supreme Court to keep measure off ballot

August 12, 2020 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A group opposed to a proposed constitutional amendment meant to reform voting redistricting rules in North Dakota filed a petition Wednesday asking the state Supreme Court to keep the measure off the ballot.

The Brighter Future Alliance says sponsors of the measure failed to provide a full text of the measure while they were gathering signatures, a requirement it says was established by a Supreme Court ruling in in 1924.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger on Tuesday approved the initiative for the November election.

“There is no question of fact here at all,” said Lacee Anderson, spokesman for the Brighter Future Alliance. “Not one signature gatherer provided a copy of the statute referenced in the measure.”

Carol Sawicki, chairwoman of North Dakota Voters First, which gathered the signatures, said the lawsuit is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

“Drop the suit. Let the people vote,” Sawicki said. “North Dakotans deserve more choices at the ballot box, not fewer.”

The group’s constitutional amendment would transfer the responsibility of drawing political districts from the Legislature to the voter-approved state Ethics Commission. It would create a paper record for every vote cast in an election, create open primaries and instant runoff elections. It is also intended to extend the time to cast a ballot for military and overseas voters.