North Dakota Farm Bureau and North Dakota Farmers Union today announced their joint opposition to an initiated measure that will appear on the November election ballot, limiting the time in office a governor or state legislator can serve.
If passed, the constitutional amendment would limit the governor to two four-year terms in office and state legislators to eight years in the House and eight years in the Senate. Currently, these elected leaders serve four-year terms with no restrictions on length of service.
“We felt it important to voice together our concerns about this measure,” said North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne. “At Farmers Union, we have longstanding policy that opposes term limits because they are a limitation on the rights of citizens to choose and elect their public officials. Term limits also put more power into the hands of professional lobbyists and career bureaucrats.”
In March of 2022, the NDFB Board of Directors voted to reject a proposed constitutional ballot measure that would limit terms of service for North Dakota legislators and the governor.
“Limiting state legislative terms would result in terrible consequences for the rural citizens and communities of North Dakota,” said Daryl Lies, NDFB President. “Why should we be forced to get rid of the very people who are good for North Dakota? As voters, we should have the right to vote for leaders of our choice.”
Since the 2015 legislative session, 27 of the 47 North Dakota Senate seats will have turned over after this fall’s election. Of the 94 State House seats, half will be in different hands after this fall.
“The system already allows for natural turnover while allowing North Dakotans to keep their right to vote for the leaders they want representing them,” said Lies. “Term limits on state legislators will not fix problems in Washington, D.C. Term limits will only shift the power to unelected bureaucrats.”
NDFB and North Dakota Farmers Union urge a “no vote” on Measure 1.