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Proposal submitted to reform North Dakota elections

Proposal submitted to reform North Dakota elections

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North Dakota state Capitol

The North Dakota state Capitol in Bismarck is offset by flowers in full bloom in June 2018.

North Dakota voters could consider a constitutional initiative for a new amendment reforming several aspects of elections.

A group called North Dakota Voters First submitted its proposal on Friday to Secretary of State Al Jaeger for his review and approval for circulation. He has until March 17 to provide its petition title.

The initiative would need 26,904 signatures of qualified North Dakota voters by July 6 to be placed on the November general election ballot. 

The measure proposes a new constitutional amendment outlining processes for military and overseas voters, election audits, open primaries, instant runoffs elections, legislative redistricting and subdivision of House legislative districts. Its text fills three pages.

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The measure leaves the drawing of legislative districts to North Dakota's new Ethics Commission, which voters approved in 2018. The commission would hold public hearings and take comments on legislative districts, which the measure also proposes subdividing into House districts. 

North Dakota has 47 legislative districts, which the Legislature redraws every 10 years. Each district has one senator and two representatives.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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