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Ward County voters end weather modification program

Ward County residents decided on Tuesday’s ballot measure to end a weather modification program that has existed for around 50 years.

Although Tuesday evening’s ballot count on the measure is unofficial yet, the measure received an unofficial count of 1,884 “yes” votes and 10,868 “no” votes.

“A huge thank you to everybody. It’s exciting, first and foremost,” said Roger Neshem, Berthold, with North Dakotans Against Weather Modification.

“We had a great group of people working on this and we’re ready to help others. It’s time for this program to come to an end,” Neshem continued after hearing the unofficial count of the ballot measure on Tuesday evening.

Neshem said Mountrail, Williams and McKenzie Counties are the only ones left “in the whole” United States who are still in the program. “We have to end the waste in their counties also,” he said. Neshem said Ward County was the only county with the longest continued program.

Proponents and opponents of the program disagreed over its effectiveness and cost.

Due to the intensity and diversity of public opinion surrounding cloud seeding the Ward County Commission members decided to ask voters to decide the future of the program in the county.

Proponents of the program said on billboards posted prior to the election that cloud seeding scientifically reduces hail damage to cars, crops and roofs in Ward County for 50 years.

“We have literally destroyed it tonight,” Neshem said, referring to the voters decision to discontinue the program.

The votes will be canvassed on Monday.

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