Feb 13, 2021
By Jeremy Logan
All in-person voting in the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election has been cancelled.
Bruce Chaulk, the chief electoral officer, made the stunning announcement Friday, less than 12 hours before polls were set to open in much of the province.
Voting will now be exclusively by mail, and ballots must be received by March 1st.
The decision was made after health officials confirmed that the United Kingdom variant is behind the current COVID-19 outbreak in the St. John’s region.
An Elections Newfoundland spokeswoman said earlier Friday that many poll workers in the ridings where the election was set to proceed were quitting over fears of contracting and spreading COVID-19.
Doctor Janice Fitzgerald, the chief medical officer for Newfoundland and Labrador, has now placed the entire province back to its highest alert level.
Under Alert Level 5, gatherings of more than five people are prohibited and non-essential businesses are closed, as are restaurants, bars and cinemas.