• The government of North Dakota is unique in the way laws are passed. Once a law is passed, the people of the state can, through the referral process, bring that law to a vote of the people of North Dakota. If the majority of the people vote the law down, the law will not be passed.


  • Capitol

    The capitol is the most imposing building in North Dakota. The North Dakota government is divided into 3 branches: the legislative, makes the laws ; the executive, carries out laws: and judicial, interprets laws. The Omnibus bill on Feb. 22, 1889, divided the Dakota's and allowed the formulation of a state constitutional convention which was held on July 4, 1889. On October 1, the constitution convention was voted on and passed by the people. President Benjamin Harrison admitted North Dakota to statehood on Nov. 2, 1889. The state government is currently made up of the Senate and House of Representatives. The assembly consists of 106 representatives and 53 state senators.



    Fire The original capital building, which was built in 1883, was destroyed by fire in 1930. Spontaneous combustion of oily rages in a janitorial closet was blamed for the fire.



  • Legislative A legislative branch of government is a decision-making body engaged in making law. Today, legislative bodies exist in most countries. In congressional systems, like that of the United States, where the doctrine of separations of powers means that members of congress are elected separately from the chief executive, the legislature is quite independent. In parliamentary systems the political executive is a member of the legislature and the leaders of the dominant party. The legislative assembly consists of a senate and house of representatives. Senators are elected to four year terms. The North Dakota Legislature meets for eighty day sessions in odd numbered years.



  • The executive branch of any government carries out the laws and conducts public and foreign affairs. The President of the United States heads the executive branch of the U.S. government. In each state the government of the executive branch is headed by the governor.


  • Judicial review is the power of courts to decide the validity of acts of legislative and executive branches of government. North Dakota is headed by the state supreme court. That has five judges, all elected to 10 year-terms . The supreme court of the district court, judges elect chief justice of the supreme court to 5 year-terms. There are forty-six state district court judges. They serve six year terms. All North Dakota judges are elected on a "no party" ballot which has no political party labels.