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TJ Jerke, Forum News Service, Published June 11 2013

ND ballot measures listed for 2014 election

BISMARCK – So far, North Dakota voters have one ballot measure to vote on in the June 2014 primary election and four during the November 2014 general election.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger on Tuesday released five ballot measures approved by the Legislature that will be listed on each of next year’s ballots.

The five measures are asking voters to amend or change the state constitution.

The measure on the June primary ballot will be listed as Measure 1, asking voters to extend the filing deadline for initiated petitions from 90 to 120 days before a statewide election, giving the Secretary of State’s office more time to validate the signatures. It would also require any legal challenges to the secretary of state’s decision over a petition be filed with the state Supreme Court no later than 75 days before an election.

November’s election will include four measures:

• Measure 1: If approved, the measure would ensure unborn babies and the elderly have equal rights when it comes to life decisions.

• Measure 2: North Dakota does not impose any mortgage or deed taxes on the transfer of property and the measure would prevent the state from creating one.

• Measure 3: Eliminates the State Board of Higher Education from the state constitution and creates a three-member commission to oversee the University System.

• Measure 4: Would require a measure that has a significant fiscal impact on the state to be voted on at a general election, rather than the primary election. Also, the secretary of state would not be able to approve a citizen-initiated petition to amend the state constitution if it would make a direct appropriation of public funds for a specific purpose or require the Legislature to appropriate funds for a specific purpose.

Citizen-initiated measures and referrals, if they receive enough valid signatures, would be added onto the list of ballot measures.

Two groups are currently seeking signatures for four potential ballot measures. One aims to provide equal rights to both parents in a child custody case following a divorce and the other group is collecting signatures to refer three recently passed anti-abortion laws to a statewide vote.