Voters can pick 'none of the above' thanks to this Whitby-Oshawa byelection candidate

Ever wish you could choose "None of the Above" in an election? Voters in the Ontario riding of Whitby-Oshawa will soon see that option at the bottom of their ballot in an upcoming byelection​.

Man legally changes his name to Above Znoneofthe so it can appear at bottom of ballot

Sheldon Bergson legally changed his name to Above Znoneofthe and will be on the ballot in the Feb. 11 byelection in Whitby-Oshawa. (Submitted)

Ever wish you could choose "None of the Above" in an election?

Voters in the provincial riding of Whitby-Oshawa will soon see that option at the bottom of their ballot in the upcoming byelection​.

A 46-year-old man from Thornhill, Ont., formerly known as Sheldon Bergson, spent $137 to legally change his name to Above Znoneofthe, got 25 voters to sign his nomination papers and registered with Elections Ontario to run in the Feb. 11 byelection.

Since the candidate names appear on the ballot in alphabetical order, his will be 10th of the 10 candidates.

But there's one small hitch in his plan. On provincial election ballots, candidates' names are printed with first name then last name. So instead of appearing as "Znoneofthe Above" his will read "Above Znoneofthe." 

In a phone interview, Znoneofthe said he's trying to give an option to people who are fed up with voting over and over for the main parties and seeing nothing really change. 

"I'm aiming for all of the people who don't normally vote," said Znoneofthe, who has run in previous federal elections for the National Party and as an independent candidate under his former name. 

"I thought, one of these days we should get 'none of the above' on a ballot," he said.

Friends still call him Sheldon 

Ontario's Elections Act requires that candidates put their legal surname on the ballot, but nicknames can appear in place of a legal given name. Znoneofthe's official name change was listed in the Ontario Gazette in December. 

Znoneofthe is a married father of two who works in customer service for a bank. ‎He said his family and colleagues still call him Sheldon. He said he started the process to change his name last fall in hopes of running in the federal election, but it didn't happen in time. 

Znoneofthe vowed to keep his new name if he wins the byelection.

Just above Znoneofthe on the ballot will be Greg Vezina, leader of the None of The Above Party. Others running in the byelection include Progressive Conservative candidate Lorne Coe, the NDP's Niki Lundquist and Liberal Elizabeth Roy.

The byelection was called after Christine Elliott announced she was resigning as MPP for Whitby-Oshawa shortly after she lost the PC leadership race to Patrick Brown.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of the story said candidate names appear on the ballot with surname first, and that Znoneofthe's would be printed as "Znoneofthe Above". However, names on Ontario provincial ballots appear as first name then last name.
    Feb 01, 2016 7:03 PM ET

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