North Dakota

North Dakota

You have full Initiative & Referendum rights. Citizens can pass laws they write or suspend a statute passed by the Legislature by collecting enough petition signatures to place the statute on the statewide ballot for a decision by the voters. Voters can also initiate constitutional amendments by Initiative.


See the results of a poll on support for statewide initiative & referendum here.

Grade: C+

Click here to view North Dakota’s individual report in Of the People, By the People, For the People: A 2010 Report Card on Statewide Voter Initiative Rights.

State Balloting Process

How you can change North Dakota’s government through ballot initiatives


The father of the North Dakota initiative process was L. A. Ueland of
Edgeley, a state legislator who served on the executive committee of the
National Direct Legislation League from its founding in 1896… Read More

Ballot Qualifications & Schedule

Date Initiative language can be submitted: Anytime.

Signatures are tied to vote of which office: Resident population at the last
federal decennial census

Net number of signatures required: For statutes, 2% of the population.
(12,829) and for amendments, 4% of the population. (25,659)

Distribution Requirement: None.

Circulation period: 1 year.

Do circulators have to be residents: Yes.

Date when signatures are due for certification: 90 days before the

Signature verification process: North Dakota does not a have a voter
registration process. As a result, there are no registered voters. Proponents,
however, must collect the signatures of North Dakota residents. The
Secretary of State then conducts a representative random sampling of
the signatures contained in the petitions by the use of questionnaires, post
cards, telephone calls, personal interviews, or other accepted information
gathering techniques to determine the validity of the signatures.

Single-subject restriction: No.

Legislative tampering: Legislature can repeal or amend by a 2/3 vote of
each house for seven year after passage, majority vote thereafter.

Excerpted from the Initiative & Referendum Almanac by M. Dane Waters.