NU Online News Service, June 13, 10:01 a.m. – North Dakota residents voted 72% to 28% Wednesday to kill a 2001 state law that allowed banks to share and sell customer information.

To get out of such arrangements, customers had to “opt out,” or take active steps to reject sharing of information.

Now that the referendum has passed, banks must get customers to “opt in,” or take active steps to permit sharing of information, before sharing or selling the information.

The election, which was also a primary election, attracted fewer than 27% of North Dakota’s 481,351 voting-age residents, according to the North Dakota secretary of state.

The vote on the information-sharing measure, Constitutional Measure Number 2, was 86,218 against the opt-out standard and 33,196 for.

North Dakota has posted the results of the election on its Web site, at http://www.state.nd.us/sec/elections/2002/primary/results/

North Dakota has posted the official ballot language of the measure, and an analysis of the bill that created the measure, S.B. 2191, under the heading “Referred Measure Number 2″ at http://www.state.nd.us/sec/Elections/2002ballot-measures.htm

The referendum does not apply to insurance companies or securities firms, but state Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo, N.D., told The New York Times he intends to introduce legislation in 2003 that would apply an opt-in standard to insurance companies and securities firms.