Approval Voting

For the first time ever, Fargo is using Approval Voting for its City Commission elections.  Fargo voters are no longer restricted by the number of open seats when they cast their votes.  Now voters simply vote for as many candidates as they want, no matter how many positions are open.

Fargo City Commission Approval Voting FAQs

What is Approval Voting?

Approval Voting is a voting method that allows you to vote for any number of candidates that you choose. Candidates who get the most votes win.

How does approval voting work?

The ballot looks the same. In this Fargo City Commission race, voters will see seven names on the ballot. Voters can vote for as many — or as few — of the seven as they want. The top two vote-getters win.

How many candidates should I vote for?

Vote for candidates you want to win. Remember you can vote for as many or as few candidates as you wish

What are the benefits of approval voting?

Approval voting tends to reduce ballot splitting when you have more candidates that you like than there are open seats on the City Commission. 

What if I still want only one candidate? How can I make sure the candidate I want gets my sole support?

Then you simply vote for the candidate of your choice and don’t give support to others you do not want to win. 

Does this affect the other races on the June ballot such as Park Board, School Board and County Commission?

No. The only race that will have approval voting is the Fargo City Commission race.

Approval voting measure language:

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

More information here:

https://www.electionscience.org/library/approval-voting/