Independent candidates ask for numbers on Vancouver’s random ballot

Statement issued hours before the scheduled name draw

A group of five independent council candidates issued a statement Friday afternoon asking the City of Vancouver to number this year’s election ballot.

The statement, signed by Adrian Crook, Erin Shum, Wade Grant, Sarah Blyth and Rob McDowell, asks the city for a “numbered ballot to help all Vancouverites better find the candidates they wish to vote for.”

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They say that numbering the ballot would also help people who do not have English as a first language.

“A numbered ballot is critical to help level the playing field for all candidates,” the statement reads.

Earlier this year, city council voted to switch from alphabetical to randomized name order on the 2018 municipal ballot.

“We are coming together to ask the City for a level playing field with the big political parties,” the candidates said. “We are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime election with many candidates. That’s exciting, but it also presents some challenges for voters looking for their preferred candidates out of 71 choices on the Council ballot.”

There are a total of 158 candidates running in this year’s municipal election — 21 for mayor, 71 for council, 33 for school board and 33 for park board.

The statement came just hours before the random draw to choose the order the candidates’ names will appear on the ballot, which is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Friday and will be livestreamed on the city’s website.

The Courier reached out to the City to ask if numbering the ballot is even possible. We have yet to receive a response.

@JessicaEKerr

jkerr@vancourier.com

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