- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Supreme Court says a man broke the law by collecting signatures for an initiated measure from people who were voting in a separate election.

Curtis Francis was accused of gathering signatures for an environmental measure while they were under a canopy connected to the Jamestown Civic Center. He was charged with violating a state electioneering law that makes it illegal to gather signatures within 100 feet of a polling place.

Francis argued that the charge violated his right to free speech and said he was unfairly singled out for prosecution because of his support for an unpopular measure.

Justices say the laws are meant to protect the “sanctity of the voting process” and curb election fraud, and do not “significantly impinge on constitutionally protected rights.”

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