After Petition Fraud Two Years Ago, Campaign Seeks Signatures Ag - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

After Petition Fraud Two Years Ago, Campaign Seeks Signatures Again

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A few years after North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife & Parks was caught for petition fraud, they're out trying to get signatures again. 

The disastrous petition efforts two years ago ended with several hired NDSU football players getting busted for making up names and addresses. 

So as you head to the voting booth for mid-term elections, you may see a constitutional amendment if they're able to get the 27,000 signatures by early August.

"What it proposes to do is to set aside a small portion of North Dakota's oil and gas tax revenue generally for conservation," says North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife & Parks Director of Public Policy Carmen Miller.

The amendment would take 5 percent of that oil and gas tax revenue. They say they won't be making the same mistake they did a few years ago with fraudulent signatures.

"We are double checking, triple checking, quadruple checking these petitions," she says.

A spokesperson wouldn't answer questions about how the system has changed since 2012 or who will be checking the signatures. When we called for clarification, they hung up.  

There's another coalition out there with the support of more than 30 organizations who opposes what North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife & Parks is trying to do. North Dakotans for Common Sense Conservation is trying to get their word out before signatures are signed.

"Some of the concerns we have with this, with the constitutional amendment that they're trying to push, is they're going to put a lot of money into staffing for these different organizations or research or a lot of stuff that really doesn't have that on-the-ground impact," says the organization's Chairman Jon Godfread.

North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife & Parks say the funds would go to clean water, natural flood control, wildlife habitats, parks and outdoor education for children, but it will be up to your research, signature and possible vote.

To take a look at both sides of this issue, we have provided links to the websites of both organizations under our hot button on the main page.

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