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Plain Talk: Are term limits really what's right for North Dakota?

On this episode of Plain Talk, activists for and against a term limits proposal weigh in.

PHOTO: Term Limits ballot measure petition circulator
In this reader-submitted photo, a circulator for a proposed constitutional amendment that would implement term limits in North Dakota uses signs that falsely claim the petition is about term limits for Congress.
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MINOT, N.D. — It's been a circuitous route to the ballot for a ballot measure implementing term limits for North Dakota's lawmakers and governor. State officials maintain that the signature collection process behind it was riddled with fraud, but the state Supreme Court put it on the ballot on a legal technicality, finding that the secretary of state lacked the authority to disqualify it.

However you or I might feel about how the measure got there, North Dakota's voters will be confronted with a decision about it.

Should lawmakers be limited to no more than eight years in a legislative chamber?

Should the governor be prohibited from running for more than two four-year terms?

Does limiting the amount of time lawmakers can serve create a disparity in balance of power between branches of the state government?

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And why shouldn't voters get to keep voting for the same candidates over and over again if that's what they really want?

We talked about those questions and more on this episode of Plain Talk.

Mike Motschenbacher and Dustin Gawrylow, two long-time conservative activists in state politics (the former is currently campaigning for a seat in the state House in District 47 as a Republican), joined to discuss the issue.

Gawrylow is for term limits, while Motschenbacher, like me, is against.

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Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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