The group sponsoring Measure 3 has had a difficult time telling the people of North Dakota the truth about their measure. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-state money for paid signature gatherers who used deception and questionable tactics to get their required signatures. The recent editorial by Lois Altenburg is equally misleading.
Altenburg claims the measure is supported by a North Dakota grassroots group. It may be supported by a North Dakota group, but it is bought and paid for with nearly $1 million from groups like Represent Us and Action Now Initiative. These national political nonprofits are led by East Coast liberals and Hollywood elites who supported the DAPL protests, oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, and support radical environmental and animal agricultural policies. These groups are active in a multitude of states. They are trying to change election rules to make it easier for their liberal friends to win and advance their radical agenda across America.
Altenburg claims there are only three parts to their measure. That statement is a not true. The measure lumps five entirely disconnected concepts into one constitutional measure in an all-or-nothing scenario. And by leading with a modest extension for overseas military voting and election security already implemented in North Dakota, the supporters hope you will gloss over the more draconian implications found later in the measure text.
Not only does Altenburg sugarcoat the provisions she acknowledges, but she omits several of the more insidious elements of the measure. For example:
She failed to mention that Measure 3 will allow candidates to hide their political affiliation, even if that is how they got on the ballot. Their so-called open primary is a violation of our constitutionally guaranteed right of association (California Democratic Party, et. al. v. Jones) and it fundamentally and forever changes the way elections are held in North Dakota with the intent to make it easier for liberals and extremists to win by removing party labels.
She also completely omitted the fact that Measure 3 will subdivide each North Dakota Senate District into two separate House Districts, effectively cutting each citizen’s representation in the North Dakota House in half. Imagine places like UND, NDSU, Jamestown, Dickinson, or McKenzie County with only one representative in the ND House of Representatives.
Altenburg also sugarcoats Measure 3’s introduction of ranked choice voting, a method of voting where the person with the most votes is no longer guaranteed to win. Elections will be decided by spreadsheet, not ballots. A person voting for fringe candidates from parties like the Socialist or Green Parties could get two or more votes per elected office and those extra votes could decide the outcome of an election. It’s not only unfair, it’s un-American.
The Maine Policy Institute called rank choice voting a failed experiment. They found that no candidate was able to get a majority of support in 61% of the elections they studied because of soiled and exhausted ballots. Further, they found that due to the overly complex nature of ranked choice voting, senior citizens and minorities were disproportionately disenfranchised in the elections studied.
Here is the truth. Measure 3 is wrong for North Dakota. Out-of-state special interest groups should not be allowed to rewrite our state constitution to further their radical political agenda. Please join me in voting No on ND Measure 3.
Patrick Finken is the chair of the Brighter Future Alliance.