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NEWS RELEASE · 22nd July 2011
As the HST referendum deadline approaches, New Democrats are calling on Elections B.C. to ensure all eligible voters are able to vote and that those votes are counted fairly.

In a letter sent yesterday to Acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James, Maurine Karagianis, MLA for Esquimalt-Royal Roads, followed up on issues previously raised around how ballots will be verified and counted, and raised new concerns around the toll-free line for registering.

“With less than 48 hours to go until voter registration closes on the HST referendum, MLAs from across the province are hearing from constituents who cannot get through to the 1-800 line as they attempt to get registered and request their HST ballot package before midnight this Friday, July 22,” said Karagianis.

Elections BC Contact Centre – 1-800-661-8683 (toll-free)

“If not resolved promptly, this problem could lower voter turnout and stifle democracy as residents who want to exercise their franchise become frustrated and are discouraged from voting.”

Karagianis also followed up on continued and growing concerns about HST ballots being rejected due to ‘date of birth’ errors. The New Democrats are requesting that all ballots affected by date of birth anomalies be segregated and held in a secure place pending reconsideration.

“I continue to believe that rejecting those ballots where numbers may have been transposed and only where the day of birth is 12 or less is both unfair and counter-productive to the intent of the referendum,” said Karagianis.