Measures 1-2 put N.D. rightNorth Dakota voters have a chance to tidy up the state’s constitution in the general election.
By: The Bismarck Tribune, The Jamestown Sun
North Dakota voters have a chance to tidy up the state’s constitution in the general election.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that poll taxes are illegal. However, the North Dakota Constitution continues to give the Legislature the authority to levy not more than $1.50 on every man over 21 years of age and under 50 years of age, except for “paupers, idiots, insane persons and Indians.”
Measure 1 on the ballot would eliminate the illegal poll tax and remove language that’s certainly politically incorrect.
It’s house cleaning, but it’s the state constitution, which gives it added significance.
North Dakotans should vote yes on Measure 1, eliminating the poll tax.
The Legislature also has proposed another change in the state constitution. The existing document requires that members of the Legislature and judiciary take an oath of office, but not those in the state’s executive branch. In reality, state executive officers do take the oath, but they are not required to do so.
Measure 2 would change that. It adds to the constitution language requiring members of all three branches to take oaths of office.
The oath is: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of North Dakota; and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of _________ according to the best of my ability, so help me God.”
Some might view this is a small thing, a mere formality, but oaths have a place in the function in state government and for men and women of character.
North Dakota voters should vote yes on Measure 2, requiring the oath of office for the state’s executive branch.
Measures 1 and 2 were not placed on the ballot by petition. They were placed on the general election ballot through an overwhelming vote of the 2011 North Dakota Legislature.
North Dakota voters should vote yes on Measures 1 and 2.