Despite various pleas from all four Ontario PC Leadership candidates, the chair of the election organizing committee says the registration and voting deadlines will not be extended any further.
Hartley Lefton says moving these dates would be a fundamental change in the rules at a really late time in the campaign and unconstitutional.
“Under our constitution, based on when the election kicked off, we had to stop voting no later than Friday, so there was no way around that even if we wanted to,” Lefton explained to CP24 on Wednesday evening.
Lefton tweeted yesterday afternoon that the party was moving the registration deadline from 8 pm Wednesday to 8pm Thursday as a result of the continued stream of members still receiving verification personal identification numbers.
A movement for a week long extension in voting has been led by candidate Doug Ford, and embraced by both Caroline Mulroney and Tanya Granic Allen. Christine Elliott has repeatedly called for extensions to the registration deadlines.
Ford told supporters in Etobicoke on Wednesday evening, whatever the reason for a “shut out”, it’s not acceptable.
“That is absolutely terrible, when someone goes out and pays $10 to be able to vote and loses their democratic right to vote in this country, and then our party comes out and says, ‘well we have record numbers’, that’s irrelevant,” Ford insisted.
In fact, there is word from the election organizing committee of a record number of votes so far in the Ontario PC Leadership relection; more than 44,000 as of Wednesday night.
As it stands, voting concludes at noon on Friday with the winner announced at a convention in Markham on Saturday.