As thousands of people vote online this week in what could be the final step in selecting a new nickname for the University of North Dakota, a few ballot holders have decided to put their privilege up for sale.
Several listings on Craigslist are offering to sell the votes for anywhere from $20 to $150. One seller has access to three votes and is willing to part with them for $100 each, or all three for $250.
“Willing to trade for old or broken electronics as well, especially broken computers,” reads one ad.
Another offers to take suggestions for the new nickname “and could be persuaded by your friend George, Abe, Alexander, Andrew, or Benjamin (especially Benjamin … I hear he has the best ideas) to lean towards a particular one.”
It could not be determined whether any of the sellers have found buyers for their ballots.
UND spokesman Peter Johnson said Tuesday that school officials are aware of the ads.
“While we’re glad that they recognize that their vote is valuable, we’re disappointed that they want to benefit monetarily from this opportunity.”
The Fighting Sioux name was dropped in 2012 under pressure from the NCAA and many American Indians.
The process of replacing Fighting Sioux began last year, with the naming of a task force to devise a plan. Another panel sorted through thousands of suggestions, ranging from silly to serious.
From there, five finalists emerged. An online vote two weeks ago has left three options: Fighting Hawks, Roughriders and Nodaks.
This week’s voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Friday CST. There are roughly 82,000 students, alumni, university faculty and staff, donors and season-ticket holders eligible to vote.
Results will be announced early next week. If no name wins a majority of votes, a runoff will be held with the top two choices.