UND Nickname Voting Results Are In, Just 27 Percent Turnout, Second Run-Off Vote To Be Held

fighting sioux

The results are in for the University of North Dakota’s week of voting, and here they are:

  • Fighting Hawks:  6,960 votes;  31.20 percent
  • Roughriders:  4,687 votes;  21.01 percent
  • Nodaks:  4,571 votes;  20.49 percent
  • North Stars:  3,231 votes;  14.48 percent
  • Sundogs:  2,858 votes;  12.81 percent

Because none of the nicknames were popular enough to get 50 percent of the vote, UND will be holding a second vote.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]That’s a turnout of just 27 percent of eligible voters. Which makes it hard to believe that any of these nicknames is going to emerge from this process well-loved by fans.[/mks_pullquote]

“The voting guidelines previously communicated by the University provided that any name receiving over 50 percent of votes would be determined to be the University’s new nickname, and that otherwise a runoff vote would be held to allow eligible voters to choose between the two top vote-getters,” an email sent out by UND this evening states. “However, as the number of votes for the second- and third-highest vote-getters, Roughriders and Nodaks, differed by only 116 votes, UND President Robert Kelley has determined that both of these names should remain on the runoff ballot along with Fighting Hawks.”

The full email sent out by the university is below. The school says they’re happy with the turnout, but adding up the vote totals above I get 22,307 votes cast. “As many as 82,000 potential voters had a chance to pick from Fighting Hawks, Nodaks, North Stars, Roughriders and Sundogs in an online vote throughout the week,” the Grand Forks Herald reported last week.

That’s a turnout of just 27 percent of eligible voters, using the 82,000 figure. Which makes it hard to believe that any of these nicknames is going to emerge from this process well-loved by fans.

If the vast majority of stakeholders at UND – sports fans, students, alumni, etc. – aren’t even bothering to vote for these names, what does that tell us? Either they didn’t like the names, or they didn’t like UND’s process.

Or maybe both.

What a mess.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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