The North Dakota Supreme Court has ruled on a challenge from the backers of one of the measures derailed by the NDSU football players (the medicinal marijuana measure). The argument was that the measure might have had enough signatures had the Secretary of State not invalidated all of the signatures on a given petition found to involve fraud.
The court rejected that argument, noting that “the validity of submitted petitions depends upon the veracity of the circulators’ averment that each of the signatures in the petition was made in the circulators’ presence and each signature was the genuine signature of the individual whose name it purports to be.”
The Secretary of State’s office stated that the petition circulators themselves couldn’t tell which signatures were fraudulent and which were valid, thus it seems appropriate that any petition found to have invalid signatures be thrown out entirely.
On a related note, I would still like to see the sponsors of these measures held to a level of scrutiny and accountability. According to reports from the Secretary of State’s office the fraud taking place on these petitions was pretty obvious, yet none of the petition organizers caught it? And there is some question as to whether or not they encouraged the fraud or at least were aware of it.
An open records request I made for emails from NDSU officials back in September made it seem like the players may be testifying against their employers in this matter. There’s no indication, though, as to whether or not that’s actually happening.