British Columbia

Voting period for electoral reform referendum extended due to postal strike

Elections BC will now accept completed voting packages until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7.

Completed voting packages now accepted until 4:30 p.m. PT on Dec. 7

The voting period for the electoral reform referendum in B.C. has been extended to Dec. 7. (Elections BC)

The voting period for the 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform has been extended by a week.

Elections BC will now accept completed voting packages until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7. The original deadline was Nov. 30.

Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman said the office decided to push the deadline because rotating strikes at Canada Post have impacted accessibility.

"We have extended the deadline to ensure that voters are not prevented from participating through no fault of their own," Boegman said in a statement Friday.

Anton Boegman, chief electoral officer with Elections BC, said the agency is monitoring the Canada Post worker strike carefully. (CBC)

Postal workers have been holding rotating walkouts across Canada for a month in an effort to back their contract demands, causing backlogs of unsorted mail and packages at postal depots.

On Tuesday, the federal government introduced legislation to force an end to the strikes — something leaders with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have fiercely denounced, saying such a move would be unconstitutional.

How to vote in B.C.

The deadline to request a referendum voting package remains midnight Nov. 23.

The deadline to replace a lost, damaged or requested package that wasn't received is 4:30 p.m., Dec. 7, 2018.

Ballots can be sent in by mail or delivered in person to a Referendum Service Office.   

As of Wednesday, Elections BC has received an estimated 810,000 voting packages — or about 25 per cent of those eligible to vote.

With files from the Canadian Press