Still no to alphabetical ballot

Langley Township councillor tries to switch back to random draw

A survey of Lower Mainland municipalities that use alphabetical ballots shows they are more likely to elect councillors closer to A than Z, Langley Township Councillor Kim Richter said Monday (June 16).

Richter said her review found among 12 of 15 municipalities that use alphabetical ordering, most elected councillors were from the “first half” of the alphabet.

She was trying to convince council to reverse a May vote to stop randomly ordering names on the election, a practice the Township has followed since 1993.

Richter was not present for the May vote and said it should be reconsidered in light of the new information that suggests an alphabetical ballot gives some names an advantage.

“The data appears to show that if your names started with an “A” to an “M” your chances are better [under an alphabetical system],” Richter said.

Councillor Bev Dornan spoke for the majority of council, saying the change was made in response to complaints that randomly ordered names make it difficult to find a particular candidate when a lot of people are running.

“It is easier for voters,” Dornan said.

A report by chief electoral officer Bob Wilson said some voters found it hard to find names on the ballot during the last election in 2011, when people had to select up to 14 names from 41 candidates for mayor, councillor and school trustee.

When the Richter proposal to return to a random order came to a vote, the decision, by a 6-3 margin, was for the A-to-Z approach

The change won’t affect candidates for school trustee, who will still appear in a random order determined by drawing lots, unless the Langley Board of Education decides to make a change.

A number of studies have suggested there is a “ballot order effect” that favours people listed at the top.

A 2013 review of California municipal elections concluded there is a measurable advantage, with candidates listed first on a ballot winning between four and five percentage points more often.

Langley City lists candidates for mayor and council alphabetically, but candidates for the board of education are arranged randomly.

The 2014 municipal vote for mayor, council and school trustee positions in the Township and city will be held on Nov. 15, a Saturday.

Just Posted

Kazakstan’s U20 team takes 4-3 win over Langley university squad

Thursday night’s game is one of four the visitors are playing at the Langley Events Centre.

VIDEO: Langley realtor builds holiday party for kids

Realtor Matthew Rufh hosted a gingerbread house-building party for the Langley Boys and Girls Club.

Charges pending for driver who sped away from police in Langley, crashed

A simple traffic stop escalated into a pileup on 56th Avenue.

Giants defenceman Byram headed to NHL prospects game

The young player is following in the footsteps of former Giant Ty Ronning.

Langley Rams receiver inks with BC Lions

Jevon Cottoy joined the Rams this season and now has a multi-year contract with the Lions.

VIDEO: Sto:lo artist and UFV instructors create award-winning gingerbread house

Chilliwack team wins Vancouver competition with Coast Salish design, solid recipe and laser cuts

Swap food for fines at Fraser Valley Regional Library

From Dec. 14 through Jan. 22, library patrons can “pay” their fines while helping local food banks

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Surrey mayor says city won’t repay $56M spent on LRT, but might pony up $40M in land transfers

There will be no tax increase for Surrey residents resulting from this, McCallum confirms

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Questions raised over retailers who shame shoplifters with photos

Alleged theft from a sex shop in Newfoundland led to posts on social media

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Most Read