VANCOUVER—Hundreds of voters in Canada’s western provinces may be disenfranchised in the ongoing midterm polls as the Philippine Consulate in this city deals with an overwhelming number of returned ballots from Canada Post.
Consulate officials said that an estimated 1,000 ballots have been returned so far due to incorrect addresses of registered voters.
“Unfortunately, we’ve just been receiving hundreds of return to sender ballots, mas marami pa sila doon sa balotang bibilangin namin,” said consul Arlene Magno.
Out of 37,590 registered voters in British Columbia, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, only 500 valid ballots have been counted so far.
“We have this list that we posted on our website with the hope that people will see their names so they can come and claim their ballots because we have no way of finding out what their new address is,” said Magno.
Besides returned mail, consulate officials said ballots were also mailed out in trickles, as approved budget for stamps came very late.
They said they are appealing to voters to claim returned ballots as soon as possible, as they don’t have resources to re-send them.
If they don't, Magno said they will be disenfranchised.
"They will not be able to participate in this election," she said.
The consulate said it will continue to receive mailed ballots until Friday, May 10. They will go to Canada Post’s office during the weekend to claim other mailed ballots that did not make it to Friday’s delivery.
The consulate will also be open to receive ballots in person until 3 p.m. on Monday, May 13th.
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