NDP says 'unprecedented' number of spoiled votes in N.L. election, voters speak out

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — A letter from the Newfoundland and Labrador NDP to the provincial elections authority says the party's scrutineer is concerned about an "unprecedented" number of spoiled ballots.

In the March 12 letter to chief elections officer Bruce Chaulk, NDP president Kyle Rees says the scrutineer indicated ballots were rejected because voters wrote "I vote for" before the name of the candidate or printed their name on the voter declaration form rather than signing it.

In a Facebook message to The Canadian Press today, Rees said the party's scrutineer is experienced and has overseen several elections, though he could not say how many.

Meanwhile, St. John's resident Whymarrh Whitby says he filed the paperwork to request a ballot and it never showed up, despite numerous phone calls to the Elections NL office that were not returned.

In nearby Mount Pearl, Mario Lovell says his ballot finally showed up late Tuesday afternoon but his work schedule didn't allow him to bring it to Elections NL by Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline.

Chaulk shifted the election last month to mail-in ballots after a COVID-19 outbreak spread through the St. John's area, with results expected to be announced Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press