We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Port: 'I can't believe I signed that thing'

The proponents of the measure have touted it as the Help Heroes Vote Act because one tiny part of it does expand the voting window for deployed military. The use of that title is so deceptive as to be nearly fraudulent.

NDVF 1.jpg
North Dakota Voters First organizers and volunteers stand outside the state Capitol Monday, July 6, before delivering their petitions to the Secretary of State's Office. Adam Willis / The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINOT, N.D. — Since a proposed constitutional amendment — financed by left-wing groups based in other states and aimed at changing our elections to the point of being almost unrecognizable — was approved for the statewide ballot this week, my inbox and social media feeds have been full of people expressing regret.

"I can't believe I signed that thing," one reader told me.

The amendment in question will be Measure 3 in November if a legal challenge to its eligibility is unsuccessful (more on that in a moment). In the meantime, many, many North Dakotans who signed the petition for it are now feeling duped.

The proponents of the measure have touted it as the Help Heroes Vote Act because one tiny part of it does expand the voting window for deployed military.

The use of that title is so deceptive as to be nearly fraudulent.

ADVERTISEMENT

The measure would do away with the existing primary process. It would reduce your representation in the state House by half. It would replace our current voting method with ranked-choice ballots. Elections would be settled by spreadsheets instead of vote counts. It would mandate open primaries, violating your constitutional right to associate with a political party.

And yet, many of the folks who signed the petitions say they had no idea about these other parts of the measure. They were told they were helping heroes vote.

The frustration is palpable on Facebook, where a group formed just this last week, called North Dakota Against Measure 3 , already has about 8,000 members. The posts in that group are full of angry North Dakota voters who feel deceived.

"It's completely disingenuous to trick people into signing a petition through deception, using our military members as a bargaining chip and distraction," one group member wrote.

"They cheated and lied to the people who signed the petition," another wrote.

"I chewed a guy out that was telling an older gentleman in a VET hat about how it was just to help the military vote. I told the guy the signature gatherer was not telling him the other stuff, and told him there was a lot more to it," yet another wrote. "The guy collecting signatures tried to argue with me and say that was it. I again told them both he was lying, and thankfully the older man left without signing."

Which brings me to the lawsuit.

A group of past and present members of the military, including Mike Haugen, former Adjutant General of the North Dakota National, has filed a petition with the state Supreme Court asking that this measure be kept off the ballot.

ADVERTISEMENT

The state constitution requires proposed measures to be circulated for signatures in their complete form. The petitioners to the court said that didn't happen.

Based on the number of North Dakotans now saying they feel deceived, it sure seems like they have a point.

To comment on this article, visit www.sayanythingblog.com

Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at rport@forumcomm.com .

Related Topics: ELECTION 2020
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
What to read next
If we don't like pink, I'm open to another color. Like baby blue. Or a nice aquamarine color. We can workshop it. Whatever we come up with, it should serve as a reminder that law enforcement should be about safety, both for the cops and for the public, and not some action-movie fantasy.
Did Rep. Jason Dockter, a Bismarck-area Republican, really think that this sort of dealing, assuming it's all technically in compliance with state law, would pass the smell test with the public? If he didn't, he's a fool, and if he did, you have to wonder why he went ahead with it anyway.
Sept. 4 comes and goes with a blur for many. For me there are three dates: Sept. 4, 1863; Sept. 4, 2016, and Sept. 4, 2022. This is really about the Indian Wars, which continue. I think it’s time to end the Indian Wars. It’s also time to understand that forensic facts, are not “critical race theory,” they are what happened. As school begins, let us ensure that history is taught, and that we make good choices today.
On this episode of Plain Talk, Republican secretary of state candidate Michael Howe debated Democratic-NPL candidate Jeffrey Powell on a wide-ranging set of issues related ot that office.