An opposition group emerges to counter the measurement effort initiated by 60% | The mighty 790 KFGO

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FARGO, ND (KFGO) – A group wishing to raise the voter threshold from a simple majority to 60% needed to amend the state constitution via an initiated measure has provided more than enough signatures to the Secretary of State for approval to be placed on the November ballot last week. Protect North Dakota’s Constitution says it is a citizen-run group.

But a new grassroots opposition group called Conserve Our Rights says the effort is nothing but big bucks, special interests trying to make it harder for North Dakotans to affect change. Records show the major funders of the 60% effort are the Lignite and Petroleum Councils, the North Dakota Chamber and a Wyoming-based PAC.

Rick Gion leads North Dakota voters first. He says the current system is working.

“North Dakotans really like the insider measurement system because when the legislature can’t or won’t do things, that’s how people change the law and make the state a better place,” Gion said.

Conserve Our Rights director Dustin Gawrylow says he’s skeptical the 60% group got enough signatures, even though they sent 2,500 more than the 31,000 needed.

“It’s going to be tight. The general rule is that even if it’s a perfectly run campaign, there will be 8-10% bad results, even if you do everything right. That’s why we say ‘get 15-20, maybe 30% more’, if you can,” he said.

Gawrylow says he hopes the secretary of state’s office uses the same standard of review during the petition vetting process as it does for time limitation petitions.

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