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Commentary: $260,000 to collect signatures despite claiming it was a “volunteer” effort

A group calling itself the North Dakotans for Public Integrity announced earlier this week that their ballot measure, which would amend the state constitution to (among other things) create an ethics commission, was certified for the November ballot.

In their press release announcing the news they give the impression that they collected the signatures to qualify for the ballot through a local, volunteer effort.

“North Dakota has always been a place where people feel connected to their government and this citizen-led effort continues that connection. We had nearly 100 North Dakota volunteers circulating petitions in every corner of the state,” Ellen Chaffee, a long-time Democratic activist, said in the group’s press release (emphasis mine).

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