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.'

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

Kenny Podmore, here seen at Sidney’s cenotaph in November, says he feels for the veterans after organizers had to cancel an event acknowledging Victory in Europe (VE) Day for the second time in as many years because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich event marking 75th anniversary of VE-Day cancelled

Sidney resident first planned event for May 9, 2020 moved to May 8 before being cancelled

Individuals and businesses are encouraged to bring their unwanted electronics to Tillicum Centre May 14 to be shredded, recycled or donated. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents can shred, donate electronics safely

Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau hosts event May 14 at Tillicum Centre

Scheduling popular summer events like the Canada Day celebrations is difficult due to the pandemic. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke summer events schedule clouded by COVID

Public health guidelines hamper plans

The District of Sooke is looking at new plans to build a fenced dog park at Ponds Park Corridor. (Pixabay.com)
Sooke seeks input on dog park

Public comment welcomed until June 4

Potatoes have two genetic centre of origins, one from the lowlands in Chile and the other from the highlands in Bolivia. The highlands potatoes flower and produce fruit profusely, which is where the seeds come from. They contribute to exciting and ecologically imporant genetic diversity of potatoes. (Submitted/Fiona Hamersley Chambers)
Metchosin farmer shares how to invent a new potato

Using seeds anyone can name their own variety

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident on Island nets almost 10-year sentence

Saanich man was arrested without incident north of Courtenay in 2018

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Most Read