We Will Not Be California!  I'm not sure how many of you were following the battle over Measure 3 appearing on the ballot this Fall, but it won't be there.  A unanimous decision by the North Dakota Supreme Court has  removed Measure 3 from the general election ballot.  The court agreed with the Brighter Future Alliance in a lawsuit they had filed against Secretary of State Al Jaeger and the Measure 3 Sponsoring Committee.  The suit claimed that those who petitioned to get the measure on the ballot, did so illegally.

When signatures were being collected, many people said that they felt mislead and didn't understand what they were signing.  I was asked to sign the petition on several occasions and although I didn't sign it, I was mislead.  The petitioners told me that Measure 3 was to allow a longer period of time for for our service members to vote in elections...well, yes, but that was only part of it.  The measure would also have created an open primary system (one where you don't vote on a party line) with a ranking system on primary election ballots where voters select their first, second, third, and fourth choices.  Theoretically, ALL of those choices could be in one party, leaving voters without a candidate of their political party on the general election ballot (that's how it's done in California).

The other element of the measure which concerned me was that it would have given the Ethics Commission official authority to redraw voting districts.  The Ethics Commission is appointed, not elected and that is not a level of power I'm comfortable giving to people that I as a voter did not empower.

Here's the bigger picture problem I have, we have outside interests trying to change the fabric of North Dakota by using our initiated measure process against us.  Much like Marcy's Law, outside interests can change our states constitution and laws by simply throwing enough money around.  By the way, the amount of money needed to be spent in North Dakota to affect an outside interests agenda is pennies on the dollar compared to the money needed to be spent in larger, more populated states.  While I like our initiated measure process as a tool for North Dakota residents to control our own issues, it's becoming increasingly common for political agendas from other places being shoved in our faces in the form of a petition.

Please, do your homework and don't be so eager to sign a clipboard without knowing the facts.  If you'd like to read the North Dakota Supreme Court ruling, CLICK HERE.


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