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Letter: Nothing wrong with not signing

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I disagree with Forum Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski’s main assertion in his Sunday, Aug. 3, column.

Asking residents not to sign a petition for a ballot initiative does not disenfranchise anyone. It is no different than asking them to sign the petition to place a measure on the ballot. Those who want the amendment on the ballot state their reasons for wanting signatures on the petition, and those opposed are certainly free to state why they are opposed to having the amendment on the ballot. This is no different than urging a yes or no vote on a ballot measure.

Also, there is no arbitrary beginning to such a campaign. In fact, the campaign began when those wishing to put this amendment on the ballot stated their intention to do so. It’s all part of the process.

I certainly agree with Zaleski in his assessment of the North Dakota Legislature. There is indeed “a good old boys’ sandbox” in Bismarck, and they often seem to have an attitude that they know what is best for us. The majority leadership intimated some time ago that if Republican legislators were not elected then citizens from those districts would not have a place at the table. In fact, I had my own Republican legislator tell me at a legislative forum that he did not represent me because I did not vote for him. Was I mistaken when I thought that our legislators were elected to represent all residents regardless of who voted for them? And I certainly thought that once someone was elected to the Legislature that they would be an integral part of the legislative process.

Rather than have so many ballot measures, we should have a Legislature that does its job for North Dakota residents. I hope that all residents will be engaged in this process and cast an informed vote this November. State residents need to be heard over the roar of the oil companies, and this can only be done if we elect legislators and state leaders who are willing to listen to all residents of our state.

Linderman lives in Carrington, N.D.

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