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BC NDP leadership candidate supporter questions membership process

By Cole Schisler

Some supporters of BC NDP leadership candidate Anjali Appadurai are alleging the party is trying to suppress their votes.

Nelson city councillor Rik Logtenberg used to be a member of the BC Green Party. In a Twitter thread, he notes his membership expired.

He tells CityNews when he tried to join the BC NDP, he was given three days to provide written proof he was no longer a member of either the provincial or federal Greens.

“I was thinking that this could only be an attempt to suppress my vote to not enable me to vote because it set up conditions that I was very unlikely to be able to meet,” Logtenberg said Wednesday.

A screenshot of an email from the NDP he posted online shows the party asking for confirmation that he left the B.C. Greens, with a deadline set for the end of the week.

“To just not contact me much earlier in the process or give more time to do it seemed like it was hard to understand what else it could be but in an attempt to prevent me from from voting,” he said.

“Part of it is it just seems so dumb,” Logtenberg said. “You’ve got this thousands of people like me, who are coming in to provide new energy and new votes really for the party. And rather than embrace that … They’re alienating everybody.”

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In an email to CityNews, BC NDP Provincial Director Heather Stoutenburg says the practice is to ensure the integrity of the membership list, adding it’s “standard.”

“The protocols that were approved by our executive back in July were designed to ensure the integrity of our election; not to favour a particular candidate.”

She adds there have been a “number of complaints” regarding third parties seeking fraudulent memberships.

Voting for the next leader of the BC NDP begins on Nov. 19 and will close on Dec. 2. A new leader is expected to be announced on Dec. 3.

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