Unwieldy municipal ballots stacked with the names of dozens of political hopefuls may fade into distant memory with the implementation of a new elections bylaw.
“Before we required two nominators, now you have to have 25 before you can get your name on the ballot,” said Stephen Fleming, Kelowna’s city clerk.
Fleming explained the legislation around the nomination process was changed in 2008 and when that happened numerous municipalities bumped up the requirements. Kelowna council, on the other hand, opted to stay at the bare minimum.
The following election there were 30 candidates for city council and just as many in the subsequent by-election.
“We got a lot of questions about why there were so many people on the ballot,” said Fleming, noting there’s no way to tell whether there will be any changes in the number of candidates with the change. “Everyone who ran got more than 25 votes, so I have no idea what impact it will have, but we’ll find out in October.”
Before passing first reading of the bylaw, Coun. Charlie Hodge joked that he may have a hard time finding 25 friends, legally able to vote in the city, who may want to nominate him. But, it’s a change for the better.
“This is a good litmus test for people considering whether they’ll run,” he said.
There were no other significant changes to the process, and those who want to run will still have to ante up $100.