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UND says 3 nickname choices will go to runoff vote

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The University of North Dakota announced Sunday evening that voting for a new school nickname will head to a runoff among the top three vote-getters from the first round.

Since none of the five options received 50 percent of the vote, the next step is a runoff.

The original plan called for the top two finishers to be forwarded to the second round. But because the second and third choices were only separated by 116 votes, UND President Robert Kelley decided all three names should be included, according to the Grand Forks Herald.

The Fighting Hawks, Roughriders and Nodaks will be the three choices in the runoff vote, and whichever one gets the most votes will replace the old Fighting Sioux nickname, which was retired in 2012.

Here are the results from the first round of online voting, which took place the week of Oct. 19:

• 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

School officials noted that more than 22,000 people participated in the first round of voting.

"We appreciate the participation and input of the voters, and are pleased that we have moved forward to three final choices," said Kelly in a statement. "We look forward to completing the last important step of this process through the runoff vote."

The runoff will be held for eligible voters beginning noon Monday, Nov. 2 and will end at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6.

As with the first round, UND students, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni donors and current UND season ticket holders will be eligible to participate in the voting, and will receive an email with voting instructions beforehand. 

The university said it will likely announce the results early the week of Nov. 9, and the name that receives the most votes will be UND's new nickname.

How we got to this point

The road to this vote hasn’t been easy – if you want the full version, check out this link.

Long story short, UND dropped the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo in 2012 after the NCAA threatened sanctions. After a three-year moratorium playing without a nickname, the school began gathering and narrowing suggestions for a new moniker.

Not everyone is happy with the process, and a lawsuit was filed recently seeking to have "North Dakota" chosen as the new school nickname.

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