Indigenous, rural communities, seniors

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Indigenous, rural communities, seniors disadvantaged by election rules: Crosbie
PC Leader Ches Crosbie says the Monday deadline for mail-in ballot applications and the lack of any form of in-person voting stand to disenfranchise thousands of Newfoundland and Labrador voters – including those in indigenous and rural communities.
Saturday, February 13, 2021

(February 13, 2021) – : PC Leader Ches Crosbie says the Monday deadline for mail-in ballot applications and the lack of any form of in-person voting stand to disenfranchise thousands of Newfoundland and Labrador
voters – including those in indigenous and rural communities.

On behalf of the PC Party, Crosbie is calling on the Chief Electoral Officer to extend the deadline for mail-in voting ballot applications and for Mr. Chaulk to immediately meet with representatives from all parties to determine a safe way to conduct the 2021 provincial election, which includes socially distant in-person voting.

Failure to act will mean thousands of voters, including those in indigenous populations and seniors without access or ability to use the internet, will lose their right to vote. Crosbie says he is also concerned about several issues that have come to the attention of the Progressive Conservative Party, including:

• Many reports of Elections NL’s website crashing;
• Incorrect information posted for most of Saturday;
• Ballots mailed to the wrong households;
• Ballots issued to deceased residents;
• Special ballot applicants not receiving a confirmation receipt of their application;
• Reports of voters being unable to reach Elections NL by telephone; and
• Many other concerns.

“It’s obvious our province was not – and is still not – ready for a winter election during the dangerous second wave of the pandemic,” said Crosbie.

“Proceeding on the most recent set of rules as issued by Elections NL will disenfranchise thousands of voters.”

Crosbie says Elections NL must bring all parties to the table as soon as possible.

“This situation must be fixed, and it must be fixed today,” said Crosbie.

“We need an extension on special ballot applications, and we need a plan for some form of socially -distant, safe in-person voting. Otherwise, our province is actively engaged in voter suppression.”

Crosbie is also calling on Liberal leader Andrew Furey to add his call to those seeking fairness for the voters who will be disenfranchised without rule changes.

“It’s time for Andrew Furey to show leadership and speak out for the thousands of voters who are being robbed of their democratic right,” said Crosbie.

“Stop hiding from the challenge, Premier.”

 

Contacts:
David Maher
Director of Communications
(p) (709) 769-2216

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