Ranked Choice, Approval voting to stay in North Dakota after Senate vote

Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff
Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff

(Bismarck, ND) -- The City of Fargo has Governor Burgum and the State Senate to thank for its current voting system staying in place.

Supporters of a ban of ranked choice and approval voting did not get the necessary two thirds majority vote needed to overturn Burgum's veto of the bill, meaning approval voting is here to stay in Fargo for the time being.

Roughly two weeks ago on WDAY Midday, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney noted that he expected to get the few votes needed to avoid the bill being passed despite the Governor's veto. The final vote in the Senate was 28 to 19, not enough to override Burgum's decision.

Fargo is the only city in North Dakota, and one of the only cities in the entire country that uses the system. There had been some concern over the system, which was passed by local voters in 2018, due to the type of voting format being approved in a non-presidential election year. Mahoney noted though that the vote still took place in November of that year, and that the process has worked well in the four years since.

The final version of the veto was filed with Secretary of State Michael Howe Tuesday.