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Expert warns of upcoming threats to democracy across the nation; Judge in Trump documents case rejects suggestions to step aside; NC businesses fear effects of 'bathroom bill'; Report says restaurants allow abuse, disease risk at MD animal farms.

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ND poll suggests voters aren't thrilled with legislative policy

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023   

A majority of likely voters in North Dakota oppose controversial policy moves at the state level, including efforts to add more hurdles for constitutional changes through ballot questions.

The sentiments are found in a new statewide poll commissioned by the nonprofit North Dakota News Cooperative. Among respondents, 46% oppose the "pass it twice" measure, a question the Legislature recently approved for the 2024 ballot. It would require future measures initiated by citizens to pass twice to become law. Only 36% of those surveyed support the idea.

Brian Lunde, a research analyst for the North Dakota Poll, suggested voters will react harshly to this specific issue.

"The Legislature only has to pass a bill once, but I have to now pass it twice?" Lunde questioned. "It triggers that 'populist' feeling."

And 33% of respondents said they "strongly oppose" the idea, a result analysts said spells trouble for the effort. In other survey responses, 48% of North Dakotans oppose the state's new abortion restrictions, but 44% are in favor of them. While there were partisan splits, a significant number of Independents were in opposition.

Lunde pointed out in an era of "identity politics," the responses underscored North Dakota voters are open-minded about certain topics.

"This feeling that they get to decide, it's not predetermined or 'tilted' one way or another," Lunde explained.

He argued it is important for candidates to take note of the results, with Independent voters making up one-third of North Dakota's electorate. The poll also asked respondents whether they support a possible ballot question next year to essentially remove local control related to property taxes. A majority of the voters polled opposed such a change.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.


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