Nfld. & Labrador

NDP wants special ballots axed

Newfoundland and Labrador's special ballot rules are unconstitutional and should be scrapped, according to a lawsuit filed by a defeated NDP candidate.

Party says early-voting provisions are unconstitutional

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (left) and candidate Julie Mitchell campaign in Marystown during the 2011 provincial election. (CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador's special ballot rules are unconstitutional and should be scrapped, according to a lawsuit filed by a defeated NDP candidate.

Julie Mitchell lost to Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Clyde Jackman by just 40 votes in the south coast district of Burin-Placentia West in the Oct. 11 election.

The NDP previously sought a recount in the district, but that request was dismissed by Supreme Court Chief Justice David Orsborn.

The new court application takes aim at the province's Elections Act — specifically, the provisions that allow special ballots to be cast up to four weeks before an election is actually called.

Those provisions "are a violation of democratic and constitutional norms of Canada and the Commonwealth," the NDP court filings claim, offering an unfair advantage to incumbents.

Mitchell is also alleging that people who do not live in the district voted in the election.

The case is scheduled to be heard on Dec. 13 in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court.

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