Don't Wait Until Election Day!

You are likely reading this on a Friday morning and you may be somewhat preoccupied with what you are planning on doing this weekend, like have a cold beer after work or sleeping in on Saturday. I have small children, so neither of those things are likely to make my “to do” list, but best of luck to the rest of you.

But if you are taking a five-minute mental break from work right now, why not take this brief moment to become a more informed citizen? Oh no, I’m not going to rack your brain. I just want to take this time to remind you that November election is about so much more than candidates trying to become president. You will also have a chance to vote on some ballot “measures,” which are proposed laws or constitutional changes brought to the voters to decide!

In North Dakota, you will have 5 ballot measures this fall.

·         Measure 1 : Residency requirement for state legislators
·         Measure 2 : Allocation of some extraction tax revenue to schools
·         Measure 3 : Expand the rights of crime victims
·         Measure 4 : Increase the tax on tobacco products
·         Measure 5 : Allow individuals to use medical marijuana

You can find the details about these ballot measures at:

In South Dakota, you will have 10 ballot measures this fall to consider.

·         Amendment R : Governance of post-secondary technical education institutes
·         Amendment S : Expands crime victims' rights
·         Amendment T : Redistricting commission created to make redistricting decisions
·         Amendment U : Statutory interest rates for loans
·         Amendment V : Establish nonpartisan elections
·         Referred Law 19 : Regulations on who may sign petitions for independent candidates
·         Referred Law 20 : Decrease the minimum wage for those under age 18
·         Measure 21 : Cap interest rates for short-term loans at 36 percent
·         Measure 22 : Revise campaign finance and lobbying laws
·         Measure 23 : Nonprofit organizations allowed to charge a fee for services

You can find more details about these ballot measures at: and

As far as the presidential election goes, the South Dakota ballot will have four candidate tickets:

·         Donald Trump/Mike Pence (Republican)
·         Gary Johnson/Bill Weld (Libertarian)
·         Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine (Democratic)
·         Darrell Lane Castle/Scott Bradley (Constitution)

On the other hand, North Dakota will have the following presidential candidate tickets on their ballot:

·         Darrell Lane Castle/Scott Bradley (Constitution)
·         Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine (Democratic)
·         Rocky De La Fuente/Michael Alan Steinberg (American Delta)
·         Gary Johnson/Bill Weld (Libertarian)
·         Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka (Green)
·         Donald Trump/Mike Pence (Republican)

As you can see, North Dakota has two additional candidate tickets on their ballots from the Green Party and the American Delta party. South Dakota notoriously has more restrictions for getting on the ballot and voting than North Dakota does.

Speaking of access, South Dakotans need to be registered to vote by October 24th if they wish to vote in the election on November 8th.  Interestingly, North Dakota does not have voter registration on the state level for presidential candidates. But, cities may require a city level registration to vote in city elections. Although, without a state registration system, you will be required to provide a government issued ID showing you reside in North Dakota.

If you are looking for information about where to vote, what will be on your specific district ballots, etc., then try starting with or for South Dakota go to , and for North Dakota go to .

Please vote. If you don’t vote, your voice is literally not heard. But also, please read about what you are voting for too. Some measures may seem like a good idea on the surface, but can have greater negative consequences once enacted.