Local Group Leads Charge to Change the Way People Vote on Election Day

Approval voting is a system where there's no limit on the number of candidates a voter can vote for

FARGO, N.D. — Jed Limke has lived in Fargo for the last ten years, and he says the current election system in the city is too constricting for voters.

“Good ideas become the victim of their own popularity. Lots of people will run on them, then the base for those good ideas gets split, and they lose because of it, and the way to fix that is to allow people to vote for all of the people that agree with them,” said Limke.

After learning of the idea while on a voting reform task force for the city, Limke collected 2,000 signatures to put approval voting on the November ballot.

Limke says approval voting is more reflective of how people make decisions each day.

“When we’re deciding as a group where to go out and eat, if eight people pick eight burger places and two people say we’re going to Spicy Pie downtown, well our current system says Spicy Pie wins because everyone only got one pick. Eight different burger places split the burger vote for example, and burgers can’t win,” said Limke.

Some supporters say approval voting could be especially helpful when deciding who gets positions in the city.

“A lot of great candidates, very moderate candidates, seem to be losing out on votes for more extreme candidates, and I think Fargo is a very moderate town, and I’d like to see more moderate candidates on commissions like City Commission,” said Lydia Tackett, a geologist from Fargo.

With six weeks until Election Day, Limke says he’s optimistic that the community will support his initiative.

“I got signatures from people who had signs in their yard from extremely conservative to centrist positions to extremely liberal positions, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Limke.

People can decide if Approval Voting will be the method of choice for municipal elections on Ballot Measure Number One in Fargo this November.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News