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UND announces option for additional runoff vote if needed

Posted on 10/28/2015


The University of North Dakota has announced that it will ensure the remaining nickname vote is decided by a majority vote.  If none of the remaining three nickname options-Fighting Hawks, Nodaks, and Roughriders-receives a majority vote in the runoff held Nov. 2-6, an additional runoff vote will be held shortly afterward for the two names receiving the most votes.

UND wants to ensure that the voting process identifies a clear winner that is the first choice of a majority of voters.  The initial announcement of the nickname vote on Aug. 28 emphasized the importance of a majority vote, noting that, "If any of the proposed nicknames receives a majority of more than 50 percent of the votes, that name will be determined to be the new nickname for the University of North Dakota."

In the upcoming Nov. 2-6 runoff, any of the final three nicknames receiving over 50 percent of the vote will become UND's new nickname.  As has been noted previously, the decision will be final, and no additional voting will be needed.  However, if none of the names receives a majority vote, the additional runoff vote between the two top vote-getters, and only the two top vote-getters, will be implemented.  The winning name will be the new nickname.

Some good alternate ideas for achieving a majority vote have been suggested, such as the idea of an instant runoff or ranked-choice vote, which achieves a majority by requiring that voters rank their choices.  However, UND's current nickname voting process has allowed voters to choose only their preferred name, rather than require that they also select a second-choice name.  In addition, in a ranked-choice vote, it is possible for second-choice votes to determine the outcome. A final runoff between the two top choices would, however, ensure that one of the names receives a majority vote and emerges as the clear winner.

If needed, the final runoff would begin shortly after the results are announced, and would take place over a shorter time period.  Additional details will be announced, if necessary, following the outcome of the vote taking place the week of Nov. 2-6.

Peter B. Johnson
Executive Associate Vice President
Media Relations Coordinator/Community Relations Officer
Public Relations Group
Division of University & Public Affairs
701.777.4317 | 701.740.5398 cell | 701.777.4616 fax

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