BISMARCK (AP) - North Dakota voters have agreed to expand the state's smoking ban to cover bars and other public places.
The state has had a limited smoking ban for seven years. The law approved Tuesday expands the ban to bars, motels, private nursing homes, cabs and public transportation. It also prohibits smoking within 20 feet of an entrance to a public building.
Violations can carry a $50 fine. Bars that allow smoking in spite of the ban could be stripped of their licenses to sell tobacco and liquor.
Kim Fundingsland/MDN • This photograph was taken outside Lewis & Clark School late Tuesday afternoon. By 4:30 p.m. the vote count at Lewis & Clark had exceeded the total number of votes cast in the June primary.
Several North Dakota cities have already banned smoking in bars, including Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks.
Twenty-nine states already have comprehensive workplace smoking bans, including Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana.
Tougher animal cruelty law rejected
North Dakota voters have rejected a proposal to toughen the state's animal cruelty law.
They defeated a citizen initiative on Tuesday that would have made animal cruelty a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The most severe punishment for animal cruelty now is a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
North Dakota's two major farm groups opposed the measure, saying it was vague and poorly worded.
They say they support a broader anti-cruelty law that they want to introduce in the North Dakota Legislature next year.
An animal rights group says the Dakotas are the only states without felony penalties for animal mistreatment.
Farming rights amendment approved
North Dakota voters have approved a state constitutional amendment protecting farmers' rights.
The amendment endorsed Tuesday says the Legislature can't prevent farmers from using agricultural technology and "modern livestock production and ranching practices."
Supporters say the amendment is needed to protect one of North Dakota's most important industries. But opponents say it will block zoning rules and hamper efforts to protect public health and the environment.
North Dakota's two major farm groups split on the proposal. The North Dakota Farm Bureau helped put it on the ballot, while the state Farmers Union opposed it.
Agricultural analysts say no other state has this kind of constitutional provision.
Governor required to take oath of office
North Dakota voters have changed the state constitution to require the governor and other elected officials to take an oath of office.
The change is part of Measure 2, which North Dakota voters approved on Tuesday.
The measure was put on the ballot by the North Dakota Legislature.
The state constitution already says legislators and judges must take an oath of office. But it doesn't mention the governor or other members of the executive branch.
Lawmakers say it should - even though elected officials already take an oath and there's a state law requiring them to do so.
The oath itself is spelled out in the state constitution. It says officials must promise to do their jobs as best they can and support the U.S. and North Dakota constitutions.
Never-used voting tax abolished
North Dakota voters have repealed a voting tax that was in the state constitution but never collected.
The North Dakota Constitution permitted a so-called poll tax of up to $1.50 per year on men aged 21 to 50. The provision dates back to statehood in 1889, and the amount is about $35 in today's dollars.
The Legislature has never approved such a tax, and a federal constitutional amendment and a U.S. Supreme Court decision outlawed poll taxes in every state in the 1960s.
The measure voters approved Tuesday removes the language from the state constitution.