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Tj Jerke, Herald Staff Writer, Published June 12 2012

Voters grant victory to ND Measure 1

Measure 1 passed early today, four years after North Dakota voters rejected a similar constitutional amendment.

As of 12:30 a.m., with 426 of 426 precincts reporting, 96,180 had voted “yes” and 62,828 had voted “no.”

If the voter trend continues, the state Constitution will be amended to let a state legislator accept a statewide appointive position. The position could not have been created while the individual was in office or receive a pay increase more than the general rate provided to full-time state employees.

Many legislators who referred the measure to the ballot in April were skeptical of its passage. Proponents and opponents alike thought it didn’t have enough publicity, overshadowed by other ballot measures.

Despite favoring the measure, Rep. Stacey Dahl, R-Grand Forks, was surprised it passed. “I really didn’t think it was going to make it,” she said.

Dahl attributes the measure’s success to a “heavily engaged electorate” that learned about the measure because of their interest in the other three.

Sen. Mac Schneider, D-Grand Forks, was one of eight senators who voted against sending the measure to the ballot.

Schneider said he was surprised it passed, calling it “benign.”

“I don’t think many who voted really had a passion one way or another,” Schneider said. “I can’t imagine it will change many people’s lives unless you’re a lower-ranking legislator and have an appointive position.”

The same amendment failed 57-42 percent in 2008.

TJ Jerke writes for

the Grand Forks Herald