SUMMARY

The Fargo Home Rule Charter would be amended to enable voters to choose all the candidates they wish in city elections and also have the City report the approval percentage for each candidate.

INITIATIVE PETITION TO THE CITY AUDITOR, CITY OF FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA

We, the undersigned, being qualified electors, request the following initiated law be placed on the ballot as provided by law.

SPONSORING COMMITTEE

The following are the names and addresses of the qualified electors of the City of Fargo, North Dakota who, as the sponsoring committee for the petitioners, represent and act for the petitioners in accordance with the law:

Jed Limke, Chairperson

Karen Stoker

Martin J. Riske

Barry Nelson

Lois Ivers Altenburg

Zac Echola

REASONING

WHEREAS, the State of North Dakota provides that the charter of Home Rule Charter cities (such as Fargo) and the ordinances made pursuant to the charter for the city supersede any law of the state in conflict with the charter and ordinances, and must be liberally construed for such purposes (See generally: N.D.C.C. §40-05.1-05); and;

WHEREAS, current state law also grants Home Rule Charter cities the authority to provide for all matters pertaining to city elections, except as to qualifications of electors, and also explicitly grants and confirms to the people of all Home Rule Charter cities the full right of self-government in both local and city matters (See generally: N.D.C.C. §40-05.1-06); and;

WHEREAS, current city law recognizes the authority of the Home Rule Charter and Fargo Municipal Code to supersede statutes of the State of North Dakota which relate to its own municipal elections (See generally: Fargo Municipal Code §2-0203); and;

WHEREAS, the petitioners find it necessary and desirable to propose an amendment to the Home Rule Charter to adopt an election process for all elections of city officials which requires them to be elected by approval voting, approval voting being a voting method where voters may vote for all of the candidates they approve of when voting for an office, electing candidates with the most votes until all necessary seats are filled in each race;

BE IT ENACTED BY THE CITY OF FARGO:

A new article of the Home Rule Charter of the City of Fargo is created and enacted as follows:

Article 11 - Election procedures

  1. Methodology

    City officials will be elected so that each voter may vote for all the candidates the voter approves of in each race. Candidates receiving the most votes will be elected until all necessary seats are filled in each race.

  2. Ballot instructions

    For each race to elect city officials, the instructions on the ballot will instruct voters with the directions, “Vote for ALL the names you approve of,” with “ALL” being written in uppercase.

  3. Reporting of results

    For each candidate’s result in each race, reported vote percentages must be calculated by taking the number of votes for that candidate divided by the total ballots cast.


Paid for by Reform North Dakota