One candidate for Surrey council has changed his name to a number for simplicity, he says.
Kuljinder Singh Gill is running for a position as councillor, but will appear as GILL, 22 on the ballot. Last names are shown first on election ballots.
He is one of three Gills running (incumbent Tom Gill and contestant Rina Gill are also running).
Switching to a number puts Kuljinder behind the other two on the ballot. But he says it’s all about simplicity.
Gill said he’s changed his first name on the ballot to 22 because “it’s easy for everybody.”
Legislative services at Surrey city hall confirmed that Kuljinder Singh will be replaced as 22 at the candidate’s request.
The deputy elections officer said candidates are entitled to call themselves whatever they want, but the time for name changes or additions has passed as nominations closed last Friday.
During the 1996 election in Vancouver, 57 people ran for mayor, including Zippy the Circus Chimp, Sage Advice, Yummy Girl and Barb E. Doll.
Zippy garnered 264 votes, while Sage Advice took 340.
Vancouver has since invoked a $50 filing fee, which has slowed down some of the people running who might not be serious about it.
In Surrey, it’s putting your name up for election still comes at no cost to the city. An effective campaign is another matter.
Gill said there’s good reason for his name change.
The number 22 in punjabi is pronounced “bai” which also means brother, he said.
He said he understands it might confuse some voters.
“In a way it will,” he said. He added that as a truck driver, people refer to each other as brother or bro, and he thought it would be good to acknowledge that on his ballot.
“It’s just easier for people to fit in type of thing and everybody to get (it) in their mind,” Gill said. “It’s like a jersey number.”
The election will be held on Saturday, Nov. 19.