North Dakota may be the next state to impose term limits on its governor and state lawmakers. North Dakota Term Limits, a grassroots organization with a 42-member committee that includes current and former members of the N.D. state legislature, submitted more than 46,000 signatures to send the measure to the ballot in November 2022. They initially filed the proposed ballot measure in June 2021. Since then, petitioners made great strides gathering the 31,164 signatures required by July 2022.
Support was overwhelming, the committee submitted more signature than any other petition in North Dakota history.
According to Jared Hendrix, the committee chair, “It’s about the principle of term limits. It’s a long-term structural change. The polling data we have show that this is a popular issue across the political spectrum.”
If approved by voters, term limits would be effective Jan. 1, 2023. The proposed amendment would limit the governor to two terms (8 years); representatives in the state house to two terms (8 years); and state senators to two terms (8 years). Term limits would not be retroactive — meaning the service of current officeholders would not count against them. The measure would bar the legislature from proposing amendments to alter or repeal the term limits; only citizens would be able to do so.
“Americans, regardless of political affiliation, believe in term limits for elected officials,” said Scott Tillman, National Field Director for U.S. Term Limits. “North Dakotans regardless of political identity, believe that term limits are needed in the state and proved it by signing the ballot petition in numbers never before seen in North Dakota history,” he concluded.
Success at the ballot would make North Dakota the 36th state to term limit its governor and the 16th to implement state legislative term limits joining ranks with Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.
If you live in North Dakota and would like to help, visit the group’s web site at northdakotafortermlimits.com.