North Dakota residents are getting a chance to help decide whether a university's controversial Fighting Sioux nickname should be saved or scrapped.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota residents are getting a chance to help decide whether a university's controversial Fighting Sioux nickname should be saved or scrapped.
Those in favor of dumping the moniker hope it's the final chapter in the years-old debate over the University of North Dakota's name.
The group that led the petition drive for the ballot measure insists it's only the first of two phases.
Voters will decide whether to uphold or reject the Legislature's repeal of a state law requiring UND to continue using the nickname and American Indian head logo.
A "yes" vote would seemingly retire nickname. However, nickname supporters are already promoting a second initiative for the fall election that would change the North Dakota Constitution to say that UND will be forever known as Fighting Sioux.
Also up for a decision by voters heading to the polls is a constitutional amendment that would make North Dakota the first state in the country to eliminate property taxes.
With vote tabulating highly automated, Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir is hoping for a smooth night as primary results are counted.
Montplaisir said 30,000 people could cast ballots in Cass County today. Just over 6,100 used the early voting alternative.
Secretary of State Al Jaeger said turnout might rival 1992 when there was a Democratic nomination contest for governor.
Based on interest in that race, 168,000 people may visit the polls today.
(KFGO file photo)