N.L. election a 'warning signal' for rest of country: Democracy Watch

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The co-founder of government accountability watchdog Democracy Watch says Newfoundland and Labrador's turbulent election will likely put a judge in a difficult position.

Duff Conacher says he expects results of the province's delayed election will be contested in court because of the chaos surrounding the decision to cancel in-person voting and move to mail-in ballots.

Conacher says the vote's state of disarray should be a warning to all other governments debating an election during the pandemic.

He blames the confusion on Liberal Leader and incumbent Premier Andrew Furey who called the election on Jan. 15.

Conacher says chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk also should have consulted more widely before he announced a deadline to submit mail-in ballots and then changed it several times.

Chaulk says he gave voters plenty of time to apply for a mail-in ballot to meet the newly extended March 12 deadline.

Furey's spokespeople were not immediately available today for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press