Approval Voting

It’s that time of year – election season! And as you’re preparing to vote in the June election, you’ll notice that your ballot looks a little different. That’s because in November 2018, Fargo, ND, approved an exciting new system for voting – Approval Voting. 


With approval voting, you can vote for all the candidates you want (or approve of). The candidates with the most votes win. It’s that simple! 

In practice, approval voting will be very familiar to you. You will still fill in ovals on your ballot; the only change is how many ovals you’ll be allowed to fill out. Instead of being told to ‘Vote for ONE name’, you’ll simply be told to ‘Vote for ALL the names you approve of’ for Mayor and City Commission.

Candidates receiving the most votes will still win, exactly as they always have.

This method allows you to vote for your favorite candidates and make your support for different candidates and ideas known without risking your own interests. If you want to support one candidate, you can safely do it now without worrying about the spoiler effect hurting other candidates you like — you can vote for all of them — protecting your interests while also giving each of them a more accurate measure of support.


Approval voting is a simple tweak to the current system that offers enormous benefits: 

– You can vote for your favorite, instead of the one most likely to win.
– Allows for newer candidates, new ideas, and more representation. 
– It elects the best possible candidate that represents the most Americans.
– If you still only approve of one candidate, you don’t have to mark any other options. 

This simple change from “vote for one” to “vote for one or more” reduces spoilers and makes our local elections better for everyone.

Even losing candidates get a more accurate reflection of support. 

But here’s the most important part… 

The candidate with the most support wins.

If you’d like to know more about Approval Voting and how your ballot will look in the upcoming June Election, you can visit Reform Fargo for more information.


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