North Dakota voters rejected measures Tuesday that would add a right to life amendment to the state constitution, create a new conservation fund and abolish a pharmacy ownership law.
Tuesday’s ballot contained eight statewide measures, the most since nine appeared on the June 1996 primary election.
With nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting unofficial results as of 10:50 p.m. Tuesday showed every single ballot measure except for Measure 2 heading for defeat.
A hotly contested right to life amendment was torpedoed by North Dakota voters on Tuesday.
Unofficial results as of 10:50 p.m. Tuesday showed 64.4 percent of voters rejecting Measure 1.
Measure 1, passed by the Legislature as a concurrent resolution during the 2013 session, consisted of a single sentence:
“The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”
Voters gave the thumbs up by a wide margin to a measure that would bar political subdivisions from utilizing transfer taxes for property.
Unofficial results Tuesday showed Measure 2 passing. More than 75.7 percent were in favor of the measure.
Measure 2 was passed as a concurrent resolution during the 2013 legislative session and deals with the issue of transfer taxes.
The measure will bar the state or any political subdivision from collecting mortgage taxes or any sales or transfer taxes on the mortgage or transfer of pieces of property.
The State Board of Higher Education remained intact on Tuesday.
Unofficial results showed Measure 3 failing, with approximately 75 percent of voters saying no.
Passed as a concurrent resolution by the Legislature in 2013, Measure 3 would have replaced the eight-member part-time State Board of Higher Education with a three-member full-time Commission of Higher Education. The new commission will include at least one private sector individual and one person with an education background.
North Dakotans also voted to keep the initiated measure process intact Tuesday night.
Unofficial results showed Measure 4 failing; 56.7 percent of voters deciding to keep the process as it is.
Measure 4 would have required all ballot initiatives with a significant fiscal impact to be on the general election ballot. It also would ban petition circulation of constitutional amendments that require a direct allocation of public funds or require the Legislature to make appropriations for a specific purpose
North Dakota voters emphatically rejected Measure 5 on Tuesday, turning back efforts by a coalition to create a large conservation fund using oil extraction tax revenue.
Unofficial results showed Measure 5 headed toward defeat with 79.2 percent of voters saying no.
Measure 5 would have created a Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Trust, setting aside 5 percent of the state’s oil extraction tax revenue annually for conservation.
North Dakotans voted to maintain the state’s child custody laws on Tuesday.
Unofficial results showed 62.2 percent of voters rejecting Measure 6.
Measure 6 would have changed state law to give both parents equal parental rights and responsibilities in child custody cases — unless a clear and convincing case can be made against a parent’s fitness.
North Dakotans decided Tuesday to remain the only state in the country with a law that prevents big-box retailers to provide cheap prescription medicines to consumers.
Unofficial results showed Measure 7 failing, with 59 percent shooting it down.
Measure 7 would eliminate a state law requiring that the majority ownership of pharmacies in North Dakota must be held by a registered pharmacist.
In 2010 an identical measure failed to make the ballot when the sponsoring committee made a mistake in filing petitions.
North Dakota voters decided Tuesday to maintain flexibility in allowing K-12 schools determining when the school year can begin.
Unofficial results had 55.4 percent of voters saying no to Measure 8.
Measure 8 would have mandated that the fall start date for the K-12 school year would after Labor Day.