House committee considers bill to ban 'approval voting'
A West Fargo lawmaker wants to prohibit “approval voting” in North Dakota.
Fargo is the only city with that voting method. Under it, a voter could cast ballots for as many candidates as he or she wants – and the candidate with the most votes wins.
The sponsor — Rep. Ben Koppelman (R-West Fargo) testified before the House Political Subdivisions Committee.
"I ask the Committee to join me in respecting our right to a fair and equitable election, by banning alternative systems that dilute the value of 'one man, one vote,' and the ability of each voter to cast a single vote in a single office," Koppelman told the Committee.
Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney spoke against the bill. He told the Committee approval voting does not dilute a person’s vote. And he says Fargo overwhelmingly adopted approval voting via initiated measure.
"This is a direct hit on local control," Mahoney said. "The manner in which political subdivisions in North Dakota choose to elect their Commissioners, serve the interests of their communities and govern themselves, is a question that should be left to local voters."
The bill is HB 1273. The Committee did not take immediate action.