Wednesday, February 14, 2007

City's Gateway Drive poll fiasco

You know how democracies have this thing about "one person, one vote"...the city of Grand Forks didn't get the message. The online polls that the city puts up on their website allow people to vote as many times as they want to. So, your one measly little vote will mean next to nothing if someone else comes along and casts dozens or hundreds of votes for the other option. Not so fair, huh?

A couple of days ago, the city put up a poll about the two options for a "Welcome to Grand Forks" sign out on Gateway Drive. I voted in the poll on Monday afternoon and "Concept 1" had about 10 votes while "Concept 2" had about 15 votes. On Monday night, WDAZ aired a story about the welcome sign and gave a link to the city's poll. I checked the results several hours after the report aired and "Concept 1" now had about 20 votes while "Concept 2" had jumped to about 35 votes. In other words, the story really didn't seem to draw much attention to the poll.

The reason that I want to emphasize that the news report didn't draw much traffic to the poll is because I don't want anybody to claim that the story is responsible for the current results of the poll. Right now, "Concept 1" has 3,846 votes while "Concept 2" has 1,071 votes. That's right, the first poll's first daw saw about 50 voters while over 4,800 votes were cast on the second day. Take a look at the current results for yourself. Something is rotten in Denmark Grand Forks.

You can cast as many votes as you want to in the poll...try it for yourself. One person with too much time on their hands can vote 50 times or even 5,000 times. Does that make any sense to you? Clearly, the dramatic number of votes that came in on Tuesday and the dramatic shift in the voting pattern (from being strongly in favor of "Concept 2" to being ridiculously in favor of "Concept 1") are witness to the fact that people have been casting hundreds or even thousands of votes at one time. That is unacceptable and the city must either start the poll over again (and this time only allow people to cast one vote) or simply forget about the poll and take it off of their website.

If I can put up polls on my site that don't allow multiple votes, why can't the city of Grand Forks?

BTW, here's the two welcome sign concepts:

Concept 1

Concept 2


Anonymous said...


Its design complements other structures in town (Alerus Center) perfectly.

Frank said...

You're not even going to buy into the fact that some people may like No. 1 better? You go straight to conspiracy? Can't stand other people's (that don't read your blog) opinion?

Anonymous said...

Not exactly, Frank. If you read postings on Tu's blog you'd know how quickly and lopsidedly the totals changed.

Anonymous said...


look at the totals now, then check back in a few hours.

Frank said...

Sorry to sound so condescending. It was a bad morning. All I'm saying is that Concept 2 isn't all that glorious, in my opinion, and it is possible that, judging strictly from the provided photos, some people like Concept 1 better.

Please also note that I voted for Concept 2 about 30 times. Voter fraud is fun. So this is what it feels like to live in Florida.


Rick said...

Definitely #2.

GrandForksGuy said...

Two things I'm wondering:

1) Why does Ulteig Engineers in Bismarck (the ones who did Concept #1) have such crappy graphics software compared to JLG in Grand Forks (Concept #2)?

2) Who originally wanted to screw up the poll in favor of Concept #1? NDSU students were involved with the design of Concept #1...could it have been some college students with too much time on their hands? Maybe somebody at Ulteig? Or maybe just some bum who gets a kick out of screwing with all of us? That's probably the most likely...

Anonymous said...

And why would Ulteig be chosen to do something creative? Check out their web site. They're engineers, not architects or designers. What could the city be thinking. No doubt, they want something for nothing.