North Dakota

Eligible for Recall: John Hoeven (R): elected to second term in 2016, up for reelection in 2022; Heidi Heitkamp (D): elected to first term in 2012, up for reelection in 2018.

Signature Requirement: 25% of voters in last election for the Governor

Circulation Time: Not specified (However, signatures must be submitted at least 45 days in advance of the election)

Type of Recall Election: Simultaneous with General Election

Constitutional Provision: Article III Section 10 (1914 as amended in 1918 and exercised in 1921) *

Any elected official of the state, of any county or of any legislative or county commissioner district shall be subject to recall by petition of electors equal in number to twenty-five percent of those who voted at the preceding general election for the office of governor in the state, county, or district in which the official is to be recalled.

Initial Procedure: First, a request for a recall petition must be filed with the Secretary of State. Every recall petition must have a sponsoring committee of five individuals and a chairman. Then, the Secretary of State will print up signature forms to be distributed. The petition will then be able to be circulated among the voters of the electoral district of the official being recalled. There is no specified amount of time to gather signatures in North Dakota. After the appropriate number of signatures has been gathered, the petition is filed with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has thirty five days to consider the petition valid. in order to do this, they randomly sample signatures for validity. If the petition is considered valid, the Secretary of State must put the recall on the election ballot after a ten day waiting period in which the official up for recall may resign.

Contact Info:
Secretary of State Elections Division
State of North Dakota
600 E Boulevard Ave Dept 108, 1st Floor
Bismarck ND 58505-0500
Phone: (701) 328-4146
Toll Free: (800) 352-0867 ext. 8-4146
TTY: (800) 366-6888
Fax: (701) 328-2992
Email: soselect@nd.gov

* The North Dakota recall election of 1921 was the first successful recall of a state governor, North Dakota Governor Lynn Frazier. Frazier was a member of the Nonpartisan League, a socialist leaning party that supported state ownership of industries. The Independent Voters Association (IVA), which was conservative and capitalist, took issue with government ownership of the Bank of North Dakota and State Mill and Elevator. The IVA launched a recall effort, gathered 73,000 names, and held a recall election on October 28, 1921 in which Ragnvald Nestos defeated Frazier by 4,102 votes. There would not be another successful gubernatorial recall until Gray Davis of California was ousted in 2003.

Court Activity

ND Court Blocks Recall of Senator Conrad

Complaint Filed in North Dakota Supreme Court to Allow Recall of U.S. Senator Kent Conrad

News & Commentary

Mayoral Recall Effort on Track in North Dakota | 03/31/17

BISMARCK -- Organizers of a petition to recall Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary say they have crossed the 2,000 signatures mark.

Under state law the petitioners are required to get 1,898 valid signatures, equivalent to 25 percent of voters in the most recent mayoral race, according to Kevin Glatt, Burleigh County's auditor.

There's also a possible candidate to run against Seminary -- Steve Bakken, who said he is "definitely running" -- should the recall happen.

And he's confident he would be able to get the 300 signatures needed to get on the ballot. The deadline for filing as a challenger in a recall election is 64 days before the date of the recall election.

Paul Maloney, a spokesman for the group who initiated the petition, said they had been aiming for 2,000 signatures to give themselves a buffer but will continue collecting through April 19 to further hedge their bets before delivering the signatures to Bismarck City Administrator Keith Hunke's office.

Hunke will then have 30 days, or until May 19, to confirm whether the signers live within Bismarck city limits and are of legal voting age. If enough signatures are valid, he must call an election within 95 to 105 days, likely putting the special election in late August.

Seminary ran unopposed for his post as mayor in 2014 and his seat is up for re-election in June 2018, giving any potential successor less than a year in office before running for re-election.

Bakken said he was already planning a run for the mayor's seat in 2018. And when he initially heard about recall efforts, he thought the mayor should be allowed to finish his term.

"I don't know the tipping point" for the organizers of the recall petition, according to Bakken, adding arguments convinced him of "the damage that could be caused before (Seminary) finishes his term."

Bakken said his platform would be one of rebuilding relationships with other government entities and better, more transparent leadership with fiscal accountability to the voters and taxpayers, especially as Bismarck struggles with infrastructure upgrades in a growing city.

"It just got to the point we were tired of waiting," said Maloney, adding that the management of Dakota Access Pipeline protest activity and its effect on local business owners was what urged many to act.

Read more.

Petition Drive Begun to Recall North Dakota Sheriff | 03/19/16

JAMESTOWN - Stutsman County voters may go to the polls to vote on who will serve as the county sheriff sooner than expected.

A committee has formed to organize a petition drive to force a recall election of Chad Kaiser. Kaiser is in his second term as Stutsman County sheriff and would normally not face a re-election challenge until 2018.

Tim Greshik, chairman of the recall committee, said his group was prompted to act by what he called "corruption" in the Stutsman County Sheriff's Office when Deputy Elizabeth Kapp was terminated in February.

"By corruption I mean the whole reason she was fired," Greshik said. "The investigation initialized by Chad (Kaiser) was conducted by Jason Falk, who Liz had made the original complaint against."

Kapp had accused Falk of using a Sheriff's Office vehicle to pull a personal boat verbally in October and in writing through her attorney in January. A review of the accusations by Fritz Fremgen, Stutsman County state's attorney, resulted in no criminal charges.

Falk conducted the internal investigation for Stutsman County regarding a news tip made to KVLY Valley News Live Whistleblower Hotline that a Stutsman County sheriff's deputy and Kaiser's son were improperly using a Jet Ski allegedly owned by Stutsman County. Stutsman County does not own a Jet Ski, and the news tip was proved to be false. While the investigation did not trace the news tip to Kapp, it found she had not cooperated with the investigation and kept a book documenting the misconduct of other deputies.

Kapp's letter of termination, signed by Kaiser, said she was terminated for violations of the Peace Officer's Code of Conduct and Stutsman County policy.

Greshik said Kapp was not associated with the recall effort.

"She has nothing to do with this," Greshik said. "No one in close proximity to her is involved."

Kapp did not return calls seeking comments.

Reckless Congress Makes Case for Recall | 12/17/10

"If ever a Congress epitomized the need for more accountability, it's the 111th lame-duck gang. Sorry, that's unfair to gangsters. With most Americans distracted by holiday plans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has sprung another Christmas surprise, vowing to ram through a far-left agenda in the waning days of 2010. Last year, he put a giant lump of coal in Americans' stockings with Christmas Eve passage of Obamacare."

Click here for the full story from The Washington Times.

Stage Set for Recall Battle in North Dakota | 04/06/10

ACRU Responds to North Dakota Secretary of State's Denial of Citizens' Effort to Recall Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)

Bismarck, ND — North Dakota is one of ten states with broad language in its constitution to recall elected officials. Yet, in a letter dated 25 March, 2010, Alvin Jaeger, North Dakota's Secretary of State, refused to provide the procedures by which a member of Congress could be recalled from the office they hold to a citizen of North Dakota. The ACRU contends that to deny this request is to deny the citizens of North Dakota their constitutional right of recall.

Continue reading “Stage Set for Recall Battle in North Dakota ”.

The Right of Recall | 01/25/10

By Peter Ferrara. This article originally appeared on Fox Forum on January 25, 2010.

Congress is out of control. The public overwhelmingly opposes the pending legislation for a government takeover of health care. But Congressional leaders are telling us they don't care. They know best, and they're going to pass it anyway.

We see the same attitude on other issues, from global warming regulation, to taxes, government spending, deficits, federal debt, energy policy, welfare, corporate bailouts, and beyond. Too many of our Congressional "representatives" seem unwilling to listen to the views of their constituents, insisting that they already know it all. They respond to dissenters with name-calling, labeling them yahoos, Nazis, and tea baggers.

Continue reading “The Right of Recall”.

Each state has its own requirements as to the manner in which petitions must be collected, signed and filed. It is imperative that official recall committees are legally formed in each state according to the state laws and regulations. The handling of the petitions must comply with the laws and regulations of each state.