S.D. Johns, NL –
The deadline to apply for the special postal ballot for the provincial election went unchanged Friday night, but the provincial chief electoral officer says he will extend the deadline to return those votes to his office.
Bruce Sulk announced that postal ballots would be counted if they were postmarked by Friday, March 12, 15 minutes after the 8pm cut-off time for special voting applications – in a press release issued at 8:15pm on Friday.
“We have heard from many voters who are concerned that the special ballot deadline is not long enough, mainly due to concerns about delivery delays due to inclement weather,” Sulk said in the statement, adding that the change allows Newfoundlanders and Labradors three weeks to receive, mark and return their ballots. .
Any votes postmarked after March 12 will be rejected, he said.
Sulk said his office received about 110,000 emails, phone calls, faxes, mails and online applications for voting before the Friday deadline. However, he noted some requests, especially requests made by phone and email, asking for postal votes for multiple members of the same house. Therefore, the total number of votes requested is estimated to be more than 110,000, he says.
Although the special ballot and voter turnout were deducted before the original Feb. 13 election, 300,000 eligible voters in the province have yet to cast ballots.
Sulk says about 24,000 ballot papers have been mailed to date and that “voters must be patient with us as we work hard to get the rest of the tools this week.”