Elections B.C. has extended the voting period for the referendum on electoral reform.
The non-partisan office, which is responsible for administering electoral processes in B.C., will accept completed voting packages until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7. The original deadline was Nov. 30.
The deadline was changed after five weeks of rotating Canada Post strikes.
“We have worked closely with Canada Post to understand the full impact of rotating strikes on the referendum process,” said Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman, in a news release. “Rotating strikes have impacted accessibility. As a result we have extended the deadline to ensure that voters are not prevented from participating through no fault of their own.”
The deadline to request a voting package is still midnight on Nov. 23. Eligible voters can request a package by visiting elections.bc.ca/ovr, calling 1-800-661-8683 or visiting a Service B.C. centre or referendum service office during office hours.
Elections B.C. spokesman Andrew Watson said voters are encouraged to return their completed voting packages as soon as possible to ensure they are received by the new deadline.
The mail-in referendum first asks voters whether they would like to change to a proportional representation voting system or continue with first-past-the-post electoral system.
A second question asks voters to rank three types of proportional representation systems that could be used if the voting system is changed: dual-member proportional, mixed-member proportional or rural-urban proportional.
Voters can answer this question even if they vote to stick with the current voting system.
A simple majority is required to change the voting system.
As of Friday morning, an estimated 980,000 voting packages had been returned, representing about 30 per cent of registered voters. This does not include packages that have been received by Canada Post, but not yet transferred to Elections B.C.