Last HST ballots collected for count

The fate of B.C.'s harmonized sales tax should be known by the end of August.

Elections BC staff process HST ballots received from voters. Officials say turnout has been 'steady.'

VICTORIA – The fate of B.C.’s harmonized sales tax should be known by the end of August.

Elections BC officials briefed reporters Thursday on the final collection and counting of ballots for the HST referendum.

Acting chief electoral officer Craig James said the target is to release results by the original date of Aug. 25, despite a strike and lockout at Canada Post that delayed distribution. If there is a large return rate from the three million ballot packages that were mailed out, the results could take a few days longer, James said.

All mailed envelopes received at the Canada Post collection warehouse in Vancouver by the referendum deadline of 4:30 p.m. Friday will be accepted for counting by Elections BC.

HST ballots should not be mailed on the last day, but can be dropped off until the deadline at any of the 60 Service BC centres around the province, or at one of five collection centres at malls around Metro Vancouver. Locations are listed here.

Elections BC will have 70 people working in two shifts to verify and count the ballots. Each one will be checked against the voter’s list, and a random selection of 6,000 voters will be phoned to confirm that they sent in their ballots.

Elections BC plans to release the turnout for B.C.’s second-ever mail-in ballot next week, along with details of how many requests for replacement ballots were received. More than 14,000 people registered to vote so they could take part.

James said delays in getting through to the Elections BC call centre were caused mainly by the fact that as many as half the callers were phoning to share their opinions about the HST. The call centre was to handle requests for people who didn’t receive their ballot package or needed a replacement.

Just Posted

Port Alberni ‘a safe place to be’ despite crime rate, says RCMP

Criminal offences up in Port Alberni for the first quarter of 2019

Portal Players production touches on residential schools

Sisters chronicles a convent-run residential school in Canada

San Group ups plans for mill, remanufacturing plant in Port Alberni

Company moves new mill site after public input

Crooner classics past and present in spotlight, courtesy of Ken Lavigne

Island tenor prepares for upcoming concert tour of Let Me Be Frank!

VIDEO: Alberni Valley celebrates Easter weekend

Port Alberni children enjoy Easter egg hunts and spring activities

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

Most Read