Backers of election proposal gathered signatures to bring the issue to voters

North Dakota Voters First, 701-491-8295,

BISMARCK, N.D. (August 10, 2020) - North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger has approved Measure 3, an initiated measure aiming to make elections more secure and transparent, for November's general election ballot. The group sponsoring Measure 3, North Dakota Voters First, collected more than 36,000 signed petitions, well above the 26,904 required to qualify for the ballot.

“Measure 3 makes our elections more secure and helps prevent vote tampering and fraud, said Carol Sawicki, Chair of North Dakota Voters First and Fargo resident. “Casting an informed vote is a responsibility of every citizen. Our state should honor that responsibility with a system that ensures all legal votes are counted and that we have the right security in place to trust the results.”

The key provisions of the measure include:

  • Enhancing election security. Requires every voting machine to officially produce a paper record of each vote. Requires the Secretary of State to conduct a timely audit of the vote count and report the results of that audit to the public. Extends the deadline for military personnel serving overseas to receive and return their ballots.

  • Increasing voter choice and competition. Creates open primaries and allows for voters from all parties to choose the best candidates – regardless of party affiliation. It also establishes instant runoff voting, which gives voters greater choice and ensures elections are only won by candidates who have a majority of support.

  • Putting more power with North Dakotans, not special interests. Takes away the power of long-time politicians to draw their own political boundaries - and essentially pick their own voters.

“North Dakotans deserve more choices, not less,” said Nicole Donaghy, Bismarck resident and board member of North Dakota Voters First. “Voters frequently go to the polls and only have one option, as many incumbents run unopposed. Without competition, lawmakers secure reelection even if they don't have the best ideas or vision for their constituents. Measure 3 brings back choice to our elections, forcing legislators to listen to their constituents and ensuring they can’t coast by unopposed.”