North Dakota Voters Limit Age of Political Candidates

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Voters in North Dakota have chosen to implement a measure that enforces an age limit on candidates running for Congress.

Measure 1, also known as the Congressional Age Limits Initiative, restricts candidates from running for the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives if they will turn 81 years old by December 31 of the year prior to the end of their term. North Dakota voters approved the measure on Tuesday. With more than 95% of precincts reporting, 60.9% of voters supported the measure compared to 39.1% who opposed it.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) was a notable opponent of Measure 1, expressing his disbelief that “any patriotic conservative would vote to limit their choices.” Despite his stance, the measure gained considerable public support.

In addition, while Measure 1 establishes an age limit for candidates, it also includes provisions should federal law require candidates over 81 to appear on the ballot. In such cases, the candidate’s age must be printed next to their names on the ballot for all federal legislative office elections.

The election results reflected a strong public sentiment, with a majority of North Dakotans disagreeing with Sen. Kevin Cramer’s opposition to Measure 1. Supporters believe this measure could instigate meaningful change and set a national precedent.

“Most people think it’s common sense that politicians should retire at some point,” said Jared Hendrix, a Republican politician in the state who helped gather signatures to get the measure on the ballot, according to the New York Times.

“I think it’s very possible that if we pull this off here, other states will follow,” he added.

With the official approval of Measure 1, the bill’s text specified that it would “take effect immediately upon passage at the 2024 primary election or 2024 general election.”

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