North Dakota May Not Be a State

Local historian trying to get constitutional 'oops' fixed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2011 11:20 AM CDT
Updated Jul 16, 2011 7:00 PM CDT
North Dakota May Not Be a State
Is North Dakota actually a state?   (Shutterstock)

North Dakota has been a state since 1889—or has it? An 82-year-old government watchdog and local historian has been trying, for 16 years, to get someone to notice an important flaw in the state's constitution that he says renders North Dakota's very statehood invalid. The state constitution omits the executive branch, the governor, and other top officials when outlining who must take the oath of office, John Rolczynski notes. This puts it in opposition with the federal constitution, thus theoretically making the state's version invalid.

That could mean North Dakota is actually still a territory, reports. But don't worry, North Dakotans: State Sen. Tim Mathern has introduced a bill to fix the wording, and voters will simply need to approve the constitutional amendment in November 2012. (Read more North Dakota stories.)

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