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Published November 05 2012

5 things to know about the 2012 North Dakota election

BISMARCK — Along with a high-profile U.S. Senate race, North Dakota's election includes contests for the governor's office, the state's only U.S. House seat and other statewide offices. Five initiatives also are on the ballot. Here are five things to know as you vote:

YOU CAN KEEP YOUR YARD SIGNS UP ON ELECTION DAY

North Dakota residents may see something rare on Tuesday — yard signs being displayed on Election Day. A state law that banned yard signs and other forms of “electioneering” on Tuesday was put on hold by a federal judge last week. Candidates don't have to take down their signs Monday night, although many said they planned to do so anyway.

MEASURES 1 AND 2 DON'T CHANGE MUCH

Voter approval of the proposed state constitutional amendments on the ballot as Measures 1 and 2 would only reinforce current law. Measure 1 would take away the state's ability to levy a “poll tax,” or a tax on voting. However, the Legislature has never authorized a poll tax, and they've been illegal under federal law since the 1960s. Measure 2 is a constitutional amendment that says executive branch officers must take an oath of office to serve. That's already required by state law.

REPUBLICANS BACK BAESLER IN SUPERINTENDENT RACE

The race for superintendent of public instruction is the only contested office on the ballot where the candidates’ political affiliations aren't listed. Republicans are backing Kirsten Baesler. The other candidate, Tracy Potter, is a former Democratic state senator and U.S. Senate candidate who did not seek either party's support.

CONGRESS PAYS THE BEST

Congressional seats are the best-paying jobs on Tuesday's ballot. U.S. senators and House members earn $174,000 annually. Among the statewide officeholders in competitive races, the governor earns the most — $117,001. The state school superintendent earns $105,954, and North Dakota's public service commissioners make $95,611. The salaries for other jobs on the ballot are: insurance commissioner, $93,071; auditor, $93,071; lieutenant governor, $90,829; and treasurer, $87,890.

TO FIND YOUR VOTING PLACE, LOOK AT THE WEB

The website of the North Dakota secretary of state's office provides opening and closing times for each of the state's polling places. To find out where to vote, go the site at https://vip.sos.nd.gov/VoterInformationPortal.aspx and enter your address.