Nfld. & Labrador

Ballot kits are in the mail; all postmarked by March 12 will be counted, says Elections NL

The body that runs elections in Newfoundland and Labrador is continuing to send out ballot kits for the mail-in provincial election and says voters shouldn't expect to be contacted unless there is more information needed on their forms.

Elections NL says it does not contact electors to confirm receipt of special ballot kits

The application for a special ballot kit for mail-in voting passed on Friday night, with some people unable to get through to Elections NL to complete an application, meaning they won't be able to cast a ballot. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

The body that runs elections in Newfoundland and Labrador is continuing to send out ballot kits for the mail-in provincial election and says voters shouldn't expect to be contacted unless there is more information needed on their forms.

In a statement Sunday afternoon, chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk said the applications for special ballots for a mail-in voting kit are "being processed as quickly as possible."

More kits are going to be sent over the next two weeks, reads the statement.

The deadline to apply for a special ballot passed on Friday at 8 p.m. A flurry of requests in the hours leading up to the deadline meant some people were unable to reach Elections NL through the website or phone lines to complete an application, meaning they will not be able to cast a ballot.

On Saturday, Chaulk said, "If you leave it to the last minute … you bear a certain responsibility on yourself for not getting it done."

In-person voting was suspended following an outbreak of coronavirus variant B117 that resulted in mass resignations of Elections NL poll staff.

As a result, voters in the province who hadn't taken part in the advance polling were left with only the special ballot option.

Call centres that have been sent up to answer the slew of questions people have about the mail-in voting process are "fielding many questions on whether an application was received or not," reads Sunday's statement.

"For clarity, Elections NL does not contact electors to confirm receipt of their special ballot applications," Chaulk said in the statement.

"The only reason for Elections NL to contact an applicant at this point would be to request more information on an application, such as confirming a mailing address or name change."

Counting of the special ballots will start the week of March 1, Chaulk said, and that process will continue into the week of March 15.

"As stated previously, all voting kits postmarked on of before Friday, March 12 will be counted," reads the statement.

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