BISMARCK – Governor Doug Burgum announced today the November 2020 elections have been canceled due to COVID-19.
In making his decision, Burgum cited the current public health risk the elections pose to vulnerable populations and has issued an executive order canceling all elections across North Dakota.
Burgum says the decision was not easy, however, his office is working closely with North Dakota Secretary of State Alvin Jaeger to host a statewide Mario Kart Tournament to determine the state’s election results.
The Mario Kart Tournament will be streamed on Twitch, a popular videogame streaming platform that attracts millions of viewers each year.
“Cancelling our elections was a very difficult decision and one that I do not take lightly,” said Governor Burgum. “Voting is a constitutional right, however, in light of current circumstances, I need to also take into account the health and safety of our citizens. We need to be North Dakota Smart. And right now, the smartest thing anyone can do is stay home. That’s why my office is working closely with Secretary of State Alvin Jaeger to host a statewide Mario Kart Tournament. The tournament will determine the winner of every race and we’ll be streaming the event on North Dakota’s official Twitch channel. People everywhere across North Dakota will be able to participate by cheering for their favorite candidates from home. We’re still working out all the details, but this is yet another example of how North Dakota is leading the way in innovation, technology, and curiosity. By utilizing infrastructure such as Twitch, our state can safely participate in our nation’s most cherished and celebrated tradition.”
However, some state officials are concerned that A.I controlled players could end up winning some or all of the races, such as Bowser or Wario. The North Dakota Information and Technology Department says they’re working on hosting a Mario Kart bootcamp to acquaint candidates with Mario Kart.
“There is a serious concern that Bowser or Wario could end up being our next Governor, should either win the tournament,” says North Dakota ITD Director of Digital Entertainment Gordon Freeman. “The Mushroom Kingdom has long been oppressed by these villains, which is why we’re helping Governor Burgum brush up on his Mario Kart skills. But North Dakota may need to accept that our next Treasurer could be Waluigi. Our new Superintendent of Public Instruction could be King Boo. Or the newest member of the senate could be Toad or Princess Peach. However, the Governor has expressed he wouldn’t be against Mario or Luigi serving as his next Lieutenant Governor, so we’ll see what happens come November.”
At the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, Superintendent Baesler is working with students to enhance her Mario Kart skills.
“While Superintendent Baesler is no stranger to impaired driving, she’s never had to maneuver around banana peels and turtle shells on the highway,” says ND DPI Spokesman Don K. Kong. “That’s why we’re having all public schools incorporate Mario Kart into the current distance learning curriculum. Each day at noon, students will log into their Nintendo Switch accounts and play alongside Superintendent Baesler to ensure she’s ready come November.”
Some lucky North Dakotans could find themselves competing against candidates if they opt to play Mario Kart during the official state tournament, which could really add to some excitement says Secretary of State Al Jaeger.
“We want everyone to participate in the November elections, so we’re looking at inviting North Dakotans to participate in some of the races. If you’ve ever aspired to public office, this could be your moment as your only qualification will need to be Mario Kart 8 experience,” says Jaeger. “Even though I’m not up for election, I’ll be participating in a few races to certify the results and to ensure fair play.”
Representative Joshua Boschee says while he disagrees with the Governor’s decision to cancel the elections, he is confident he will win the Mario Kart Tournament.
“I’m disappointed that North Dakotans won’t be able to cast their ballots come November, but I also challenge anyone to a game or two of Mario Kart, especially if we’re racing on Rainbow Road. I know that course like the back of my hand. Game on.”
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