<< All News Friday, March 15, 2024

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Secretary of State Michael Howe has reviewed petitions submitted to his office on February 9, 2024, by proponents to initiate a constitutional measure on the ballot related to congressional candidate age limits. A total of 32,370 signatures were accepted, 1,206 signatures over the required threshold of 31,164 signatures, which qualifies the initiated measure for inclusion on the June 11, 2024 Primary Election ballot.

Below is a breakdown of the signatures accepted and rejected (View Petition Review Summary):

  • Required Signatures: 31,164 signatures (4% of state population in the last census for an initiated constitutional measure)
  • Submitted Signatures: 42,107 signatures
  • Rejected Signatures: 9,735 signatures (due to incorrect or insufficient information)
    • Insufficient information breakout: 
      • 2,272 - 2 petition circulators were non-U.S. citizens, no signatures were accepted from these circulators
      • 1,153 inadequate signature
      • 134 out-of-state address
      • 597 no date
      • 329 notary error 
      • 3,189 circulator error
      • 2,063 address omission

The constitutional measure related to congressional candidate age limits will appear on the June 11, 2024, Primary Election ballot and be assigned as Measure 1 according to the provisions of N.D.C.C. § 16.1-06-09. The Office of the Secretary of State had 35 days to review petitions and determine the adequacy of signatures to place the measure on ballot according to N.D.C.C. § 16.1-01-10. 

The constitutional initiative title is as follows: 

This initiated measure creates a new article in the North Dakota Constitution entitled “Congressional Age Limits.” Under this Article, no person may be elected or appointed to serve a term or a portion of a term representing North Dakota in the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives if that person could be 81 years old by December 31 of the year immediately preceding the end of the term, and any such person is prohibited from appearing on the ballot. If a superior law requires age-limited candidates to appear on the ballot in a primary or general election, the candidates’ age on December 31 of the year immediately preceding the end of the term they are seeking must be printed next to the names of all candidates for all federal legislative offices in future elections. This Article gives standing to enforce the article to any elector; permits an eligible person to file to appear on the primary election ballot or use an alternate statutory nomination method for a federal legislative office for the 2026 election immediately after this law takes effect; and provides immediate standing in the courts of this state to challenge the limited question of whether a denial violates article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. The Article also requires the Attorney General to zealously defend Section 4 of the Article and permits any elector residing within the district of an applicable office to timely join in the defense of Section 4 as a real party in interest. The Article’s provisions are severable, and, if any provision is held to be invalid, the remaining provisions and their application must not be affected. If this Article conflicts with any other provision of the North Dakota Constitution, the provisions of this Article must control. The Article will take effect immediately upon passage at the 2024 primary election or 2024 general election.

News Release PDF - Constitutional Initiative Related to Congressional Age Limits Approved for June 11, 2024 Ballot

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