Kitchener to spend $25,000 to reprint ballots to add candidate's middle name
City says reprint 'out of an abundance of caution to ensure the election moves forward on schedule'
Kitchener will spend $25,000 to reprint ballots for the municipal election after one candidate argued her middle name should have been included.
Regan Sunshine Brussé said she indicated to the city clerk when she filed her paperwork to run in Ward 2 that she wanted her middle name on the ballot.
Christine Tarling, director of legislated services and city clerk for Kitchener, said the city never includes middle names.
The Municipal Election Act states, "If the candidate wishes and the clerk agrees, another name that the candidate also uses may appear on the ballot instead of or in addition to his or her legal name."
Brussé issued a news release this week saying she had retained a lawyer and planned to take court action to have her middle name on the ballot.
"I always say to people when I'm campaigning or giving a speech, 'Vote for Sunshine.' People love it and I know I'm making a connection with them," Brussé said.
Reprint 'out of an abundance of caution'
The city said it fully supports the clerk's initial decision to not include middle names. But rather than go to court, the city has opted to reprint the ballots for Brussé's ward.
In a news release Friday evening, the city said it will reprint approximately 19,500 ballots.
"Bringing this matter before the courts within a week of the Oct. 10 advanced polls would put the city's ability to deliver a credible election in jeopardy," the city said.
"Out of an abundance of caution to ensure the election moves forward on schedule with absolute integrity, the city will be reprinting ballots for Ward 2, and reprogramming memory cards and tabulator machines."
No one else asked for middle name
The city said staff reached out to the 11 other candidates who filed paperwork with their middle names. No one else indicated they wished their middle name to be on the ballot.
"The decision to reprint ballots and reprogram election equipment at additional costs to taxpayers was not made lightly; it was made with the best interests of the electorate in mind.
Dominion Voting, the company that provides the election tabulator machines and supplies the ballots, will take "extraordinary measures" to get the city ballots in time for advanced polls, the city said.