Millions of HST ballots ready to mail

Assistant chief electoral officer Anton Boegman shows postage-paid envelopes voters will use to mail HST referendum ballots in to be counted.

VICTORIA – If they’re not delayed by a strike at Canada Post, more than three million voting packages will be sent out in mid-June so B.C. voters can have their say on the harmonized sales tax.

Voting packages will be sent out the week of June 13 to Vancouver Island and B.C. Interior locations, Elections BC officials said in a media briefing Monday. Packages will be mailed to Lower Mainland homes the week of June 20, in an effort to have all delivered by June 24.

Canada Post employees have given notice that they may go on strike by Friday. If a strike disrupts the province-wide ballot on the HST, Elections BC will extend its return period as necessary to give voters time to consider the choice.

Assuming no disruption in postal service, ballots must be completed and returned to Elections BC by July 22. They can be mailed in or returned to one of 60 Service BC offices around the province.

Assistant chief electoral officer Anton Boegman said Elections BC has allowed until Aug. 25 to count and verify every returned ballot, and announce a decision.

Voters will mark a ballot yes or no to the referendum question: “Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) and reinstating the PST (Provincial Sales Tax) in conjunction with the GST (Goods and Services Tax)?

The ballots are to be marked and placed in a privacy envelope. That envelope goes inside a registration envelope that voters must sign and fill in their date of birth. That envelope goes into a postage-paid return envelope to be mailed or dropped off at a Service BC location.

Elections BC is also setting up five collection centres for ballots in the Lower Mainland, at Capilano Mall in North Vancouver, City Square Shopping Centre in Vancouver, Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby, Semiahmoo Shopping Centre in Surrey and Willowbrook Shopping Centre in Langley.

Just Posted

Inside the music

Big Read: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Frost backs Town of Port McNeill’s temporary legal cannabis sales ban

“I spoke with all the councillors and was kept up to date with what was going on.”

Seal attacks kayakers in the Broughton Archipelago

“It has to be one chance in a million of this happening.”

BC Ferries delays launch of Northern Sea Wolf route

For the second time, BC Ferries delays direct service from Port Hardy to Bella Coola

Historic Hornsby Crawler housing at hand

Construction for Hornsby Crawler structure approved by RDMW

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

B.C. tent city camper arrested for taking coins from fountain

The man, who built a shelter at a Saanich park, says homeless people are unfairly targeted

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

Most Read