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Associated Press, Published September 04 2012

ND rejects 2 initiatives from ballot, petition fraud alleged

BISMARCK — North Dakota's secretary of state says he's not putting two citizen initiatives on the November ballot because of petition fraud.

Al Jaeger said Tuesday said he's disqualifying a proposal for a state conservation fund, and a measure to make marijuana use legal for medical treatment.

Both campaigns relied on paid petition circulators. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says 11 of them are being prosecuted for fraud.

Jaeger says thousands of names were disqualified, and the two petitions no longer meet the minimum number of names needed to get on the ballot.

Jaeger says the petitions for three other initiatives are going on the ballot.

They propose a felony penalty for animal cruelty, a ban on indoor workplace smoking and expanded rights for farmers and ranchers in running their operations.

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