Petitioners On Track to Adding Blue Law Repeal to the 2018 Ballot
Many shoppers signed the petition while waiting for Walmart to open on Sunday morning
FARGO, ND — Petitioners are making progress in allowing voters to decide if North Dakota will keep Blue Laws in the 2018 election.
The state laws do not allow businesses to open before noon on Sundays.
At 11:30 Sunday morning, cars drove by the dark entrance of Walmart on 13th Avenue South in Fargo to run weekend errands.
But like everyone else, they were greeted with closed doors.
“Blue Law, I guess it is what it is,” said Brian Pecotte of Fargo. “Sometimes it kind of sucks, but you just have to wait.”
While many wait inside warm, parked cars, others had to tough it out in the cold.
“Just look. See how many people are waiting here,” Pecotte pointed out. “People like me that bike three, four miles away or whatever just got to wait.”
Petitioners trying to repeal the Blue Law took the opportunity to grab a few more signatures.
“I believe that everybody should have the option,” said Brandon Medenwald, chairman of North Dakota Open On Sundays. “Not only can you chose when you worship on Sunday morning and when you want to spend time with your family but also when you want to run your errands and when you want to earn a living.”
Some people told me they understand the other side and believe anyone who wants to worship should be allowed to.
But for many, the law is an inconvenience.
“Usually Sunday is the day I want to run errands and I get up early, want to get them done early and I have to wait,” said Andy Held of Fargo.
“If I have a plumbing emergency or something goes wrong on a Sunday morning, I have to drive over into Minnesota to get that done,” Medenwald added. “While that’s a minor annoyance for somebody like me, because I live in Fargo, if you live in Bismarck, you don’t have those options.”
Brandon said they’re right on track for petitions so far but need 13,000 signatures before July.
If they meet this requirement, it will be up to voters in 2018 whether or not stores in the state can open before noon on Sundays.
Leaders of the “North Dakota Open On Sundays” group told us they will bring petition events indoors when the winter gets too cold.