Bismarck’s bars, truck stops and tobacco shops are now officially smoke-free.
The Bismarck City Commission accepted the April 19 special election results that put the ban into effect and set its start at 1 a.m. today, after the bars closed.
Final election results were:
— 5,282 voted to ban smoking and 3,563 voted no.
— 4,490 voted not to allow smoking huts and to ban smoking and 4,294 favored allowing smoking huts and banning smoking.
— 4,467 opposed using city sales tax money to pay for the special election while 4,187 favored it.
Some of opponents of the ban argued this week that the wording on the second ballot item confused voters because it mentioned both allowing smoking huts and repeated the smoking ban language.
No legal challenge came before the commission Tuesday to stop the ban.
The smoking ban was passed by the City Commission in late August and was scheduled to start last November. Bar workers filed petitions to put it to a vote, and the ban was suspended until the outcome of the election.
Audience member Rob Dickson said the wording on the second ballot was misleading and was “throwing people off and is unfair.”
Mayor John Warford said the ballot was written correctly under the legal requirements for referendums. After further discussion, the commission approved the election results with a 4-0 vote and set the start of the ban. Commissioner Mike Seminary was absent.
By LeAnn Eckroth, 250-8264, [email protected]