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Constitution of North Dakota


State capitol ofNorth Dakota
State capitol ofNorth Dakota

North Dakota is governed under its original constitution, adopted in 1889, as amended. A constitutional amendment may be proposed by the state legislature or by an initiative. To become effective, it must be approved by a majority of voters in a general election.

Executive power


Executive power in the state is vested in the office of governor who is elected for a four-year term. Also elected for four years are the lieutenant governor; secretary of state; state auditor; state treasurer; superintendent of public instruction; the commissioners of agriculture, labor, insurance, and taxes; and the attorney general. Three public service commissioners are elected for six-year terms.

Legislative power


The Legislative Assembly comprises a 47-member Senate and a 94-member House of Representatives. Senators serve for four years; representatives serve for two years. The voters have the power of initiative—that is, they can propose constitutional changes through petition and a subsequent vote at the polls. They have the related power of referendum, whereby they can approve or reject at the polls a constitutional amendment proposed by the legislative assembly.

Judicial power


Judicial power in the state lies with a supreme court of five members, each elected for a ten-year term, seven district courts whose 25 judges are elected for six-year terms, county magistrates, and numerous county justices and police magistrates.

Each of the 53 counties in North Dakota is governed by an elected board of commissioners and other elective officials, including sheriffs, auditors, and treasurers. The commissioners serve four years, and other officials two years. North Dakota’s cities have the mayor and city council, commission, or city manager form of government. North Dakota elects two U.S. senators and one member of the United States House of Representatives. The state casts three electoral votes. "North Dakota" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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