North Dakota


North Dakota Redistricting Process


As of the 2010 U.S. Census, North Dakota only has one at-large congressional district.


Legislative maps are enacted by the State Legislature. The Governor can veto the plans.

The Legislature can override a veto with a two-thirds vote. Republicans currently have veto-proof majorities in both chambers.

Source: N.D. Const. art. IV, § 2.

Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Direct initiatives and all referendums are permitted to amend statutes. Direct initiatives are permitted to amend the state constitution. Legislatively initiated ballot measures may amend both statutes and the constitution.

Single-Subject Rule
There is not a single-subject rule.

Initiative Subject Restrictions
Initiatives may not contain emergency measures, or appropriations for support and maintenance of state departments and institutions.

Signature Requirements
25 preliminary signatures are required.

The signature requirement for constitutional amendments is 4% of the total population of the state at the last national census, 2% for statutory amendments, and 2% for veto referendums. As of the 2010 Census, the population of North Dakota was 672,591, so 26,904 signatures are required for constitutional amendments, and 13,452 signatures are required for statutory amendments and referendums.

Submission Deadlines
Initiative petitions for statutes and constitutional amendments must be submitted no less than 120 days prior to the election in which the petition is to appear on the ballot (July 6, 2020). Referendums must be submitted within 90 days after the filing of the measure with the Secretary of State.

Circulation Period
The circulation period for initiative petitions in one year.

Ballot Title and Summary
A brief summary is drafted by the Secretary of State, subject to approval by the Attorney General. Expedited reviews for titles and summaries are not permitted.

Other Requirements
A fiscal impact statement is required. Circulators must be at least 18 years of age and be an elector of the state. There are no supermajority requirements. The Legislative Assembly cannot amend or repeal an approved initiative for seven years following its approval unless two-thirds of the Legislative Assembly votes in favor. Initiatives are permitted on general, primary, and special election ballots, but not on odd-year ballots.

Source: N.D. Const. art. III. N.D. Cent. Code, § 16.1-1 (2019). North Dakota Secretary of State Website

Active Ballot Measures
  • North Dakota Initiated Ballot Measure 3 (2020)
    • Status - Not on the Ballot
    • Summary - This citizen initiative would give responsibility for legislative redistricting to the five-member ethics commission of the state. The state legislature would no longer have the authority to draw legislative maps. It would also mandate that only a unanimous vote can pass state senate maps and that two state house districts of as nearly-equal-as-possible populations be nested inside each senate district. Proponents of the measure have until April 30 of 2021 to collect signatures, but had until July 6, 2020 to collect the signatures required to qualify for the 2020 ballot. North Dakota Voters First, the group proposing the measure, sued in federal court seeking an extension of an unspecified amount of time to gather signatures and that various signature collection rules be waived. North Dakota Voters First submitted their signed petitions on July 6, 2020. On August 11, the Secretary of State announced that Measure 3 qualified for the ballot. The following day, Michael Haugen, the Brighter Future Alliance, and others filed suit against Alvin Jaeger, in his official capacity as North Dakota Secretary of State. The plaintiffs asked the court for a writ of injunction to ensure that Measure 3 would not go in front of voters. On August 25, the court granted the petitioners' writ of injunction and ordered the Secretary of State to not place Measure 3 on the November ballot.

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