Wording on the ballot for the races for the Jamestown Parks and Recreation commissioners could result in people voting for more candidates than there are openings on the commission, according to Doug Hogan, superintendent of the Parks and Recreation Department.
There are two openings for commissioners with incumbents Mark Ukestad and Ron Olson listed as candidates.
Right above their names, ballot instructions say "Vote for no more than THREE names" and list three places for write-in candidates.
Nicole Meland, Stutsman County auditor, chief operating officer and election administrator, said the way the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Commission is elected caused the problem.
Meland said Parks and Recreation elects three commissioners in one election cycle and two commissioners in the next cycle. The ballot system carried over the idea of three openings from the 2018 election which wasn't caught as the ballots were prepared.
"The same thing happened in 2016," she said.
Hogan said Parks and Recreation's attorney had been in touch with the North Dakota Secretary of State's office which advised them to allow the election to proceed with the error on the ballot.
"In the event there is a contest that challenges the validity of the results it could result in a court challenge," Hogan said.
Any legal challenges to the election results must be made within 14 days of the election being declared official.
Melland said the election tabulating equipment will count votes for up to three candidates per ballot for the Park and Recreation Commission. With only two declared candidates, at least one of the three would have to be a write-in vote.
The number of write-in votes received by any one candidate would have to be comparable to the number of votes received by one of the established candidates to bring the results into question, Meland said.
"It is an issue that probably is not going to affect the race," she said.