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Associated Press, Published December 22 2010

Larger ND population makes initiatives tougher

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota's increased population will make it tougher to get a statewide vote on a ballot initiative.

The number of petition signatures needed to get a proposed state law or constitutional amendment on the ballot is linked to the number of people who are living in the state. For a state law, an initiative needs signatures equal to 2 percent of the population. For a constitutional amendment, it's 4 percent.

The Census Bureau reports North Dakota's population during the last decade went up 4.7 percent, to 672,591 people. That increases the number of signatures needed for a ballot measure.

A constitutional amendment now needs almost 27,000 names instead of 25,688. A proposed law needs about 13,500 names instead of 12,844 signatures.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.