The Ward County Commission Election Process is Broken. Let’s Fix It!

The Ward County Commission’s election process is broken.

But sometimes it’s the most obvious things that are hardest to see. What I’m about to point out to you falls along those lines. 

If you’re not familiar, the election to the Ward County Commission includes both the primary election (taking place June 11) and the general election that will take place in November.

The primary process is used to narrow the field. The general election is used to select who will hold office.

But here’s the thing – there are just two approved candidates on the June primary ballot for three open seats. So, we’re holding a primary election to narrow a field down that already isn’t large enough to fill the seats.

Does that make sense to you? I hope not.

Folks, we’re over complicating this. Perhaps there was a time when there were so many candidates that a primary was required, but clearly, these are not those days.

It’s time to do away with the County Commission primary process completely. Because, what’s the point? What does it accomplish besides making it more expensive to run for office and confusing voters?

And here’s the thing about this – it is totally within our authority to change (See the County’s Home Rule Charter, Article 2).

So, let’s do this. Let’s update an antiquated process that’s no longer serving us. Let’s make November’s County Commission Election open to every candidate that petitions and gathers 300 signatures! Because what’s a bigger problem — having too many candidates or not enough?

And just in case no one hears that call to action, we have an insurance policy. There are also five declared write-in candidates for County Commission. But they won’t make the November ballot unless they get 300 votes.

That’s a tough task, and a complicated ask for the average voter. But if you fancy yourself above average, choose three of the names below to write-in for the County Commission. Because at this point, all you get to vote for is whether there’s a contested election or not.

County Commission Declared Candidates:

  • Zach Raknerud (Write-In)  
  • Shelly Weppler (On Ballot)
  • Ron Merritt (Write-In) 
  • Miranda Schuler (Write-In)
  • Jim Rostad (Write-In)
  • Jedidiah Rader (On Ballot)
  • Ashley Gulke (Write-In)

Closing Voting Tip: Spelling matters. And there’s no law against taking a cheat sheet to help you when you go to vote! Also, thank you to Ms. Weppler and Mr. Rader for stepping forward early, and please don’t take anything shared here as a slight against your candidacy!

Josh Wolsky

Developer & Writer @TheMinot Voice, Fan of the Souris River, SavorMinot Advocate. Fortunate to be a 'former' City Council member ;)

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