Enjoy Your Free Speech Today, North Dakotans

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Today my social media streams are filled with exasperated pleas for election season to be over. I can understand that. The ads get tiresome. The mudslinging becomes awful, especially the closer to election day we get.

But setting weariness with the political process aside let’s all be thankful that in North Dakota, for the first time in roughly a century, free speech on election day is still free because this law is no longer in effect thanks to a court injunction earlier this month stemming from a lawsuit challenging the law.

Any person asking, soliciting, or in any manner trying to induce or persuade, any voter on an election day to vote or refrain from voting for any candidate or the candidates or ticket of any political party or organization, or any measure submitted to the people, is guilty of an infraction. The display upon motor vehicles of adhesive signs which are not readily removable and which promote the candidacy of any individual, any political party, or a vote upon any measure, and political advertisements promoting the candidacy of any individual, political party, or a vote upon any measure which are displayed on fixed permanent billboards, may not, however, be deemed a violation of this section.

Most candidates have chosen to abide by custom and taken down their advertising, and asked supporter to take down their campaign signs, though I see that PSC candidate Brad Crabtree has taken advantage of some of the advertising openings to keep internet ads up on the Fargo Forum today.

Good for him. His other Democrats were supportive of this law which is clearly an unconstitutional affront to free speech. I’m glad to see at least one Democrat, however hypocritically, is exercising their speech this day.

So enjoy it, North Dakotans. Democracy is an ugly process, but it’s better than all the alternatives.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Lynn Bergman

    This is what the SEIU has e-mailed its union members TODAY:
    “Today we can choose to move forward with President Obama and other candidates who are willing to stand with working people, or we can let far-right politicians like Mitt Romney turn back the clock on healthcare, destroy public services and allow the rich and big corporations to get even richer.”
    “Working people” actually work to better themselves; will they really buy into class envy? I don’t think so.
    Is Mitt Romney far-right? We conservatives only wish! More like the pendulum on a clock… but infinitely better than an avowed socialist.
    Will actual “healthcare” be better due to Obamacare… Just ask a Canadian. Their politicians campaign on its “effective reform” (an impossibility for them) every single election cycle.
    How many times have politicians threatened essential services like police and fire to get support for tax increases?
    Finally, who provides jobs? Yeh, those filthy rich greedy corporate folks that my Democrat dad warned me about. Problem is that after getting my engineering degree and meeting dozens of them… I found out that they have three essential qualities… a strong work ethic, an exercise routine to stay physically fit, and “spirituality”, the sense of something bigger than ones self.
    To my libertarian friends; please do not waste your vote. We are making steady progress in moving the Republican party to the right.
    May God richly bless this great country with the defeat of socialism on this special day of important free speech.

  • Roy_Bean

    It took a Republican to challenge the law but Bradford Crabtree is taking full advantage. He is still running ads on the radio.

  • Tim Heise

    Thanks be to Gary!

  • whowon

    All of our Republicans signs were removed, but see Heidi is still up.

  • borborygmi

    I am so glad I can look at political signs, listen to political commercials and take part in political surveys 365 days or 366 days (leap year) instead of 364days/365 days. I feel so free now. I don’t know how I survived before. I suppose Conservatives have to take victories no matter how small to heart.

  • bbbbbbbbbb

    Here’s my free speech right here: suck it.

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