Here's why you'll still see Raj Saini's name on the Kitchener Centre ballot

Raj Saini, the incumbent Member of Parliament in Kitchener Centre since 2015, has dropped out of the 2021 federal election following allegations of misconduct.

With voters heading to the polls in less than two weeks, some residents in that area are left confused about what this will mean on election day.

“I do have vote Liberal most times, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do,” said one resident.

Saini’s name will still be on the ballot even though he dropped out. Elections Canada confirmed the deadline to remove a candidate was Aug. 30. The ballots are already printed ahead of advance polling from Sept. 10 to 13.

“I think it’ll be frustrating for voters if they don’t have a candidate, but these are the electoral rules,” said Anna Esselment, a political science professor at the University of Waterloo.

Since Saini is still an option, there is a chance he could still win. Esselment said there are a number of different scenarios that could play out if he receives the most votes.

Saini could win and then resign the seat, which would force a byelection. That process could take anywhere from weeks to months, according to the political science professor.

Some residents aren’t a fan of a byelection.

“Because it would cost more money and you want to get the election over with,” said one Kitchener resident.

Another possible scenario is Saini wins and doesn’t resign. But, experts said he would then sit as an independent and not represent the Liberals.

On Sunday, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau confirmed Saini would not be a member of the Liberal caucus, regardless of what happens.

Esselment suggested constituents in Kitchener Centre who don’t want a byelection but typically support the Liberal party, throw their vote in a different direction.

“Whatever is the nearest party for either their ideal logical or partisan persuasion,” Esselment said.