PC Leader Doug Ford speaks to reporters while on a stop in London, March 5, 2018. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

Ford Wants Vote Extension, Paper Ballots

One of the candidates in the race to replace Patrick Brown as the head of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party is asking for the leadership vote to be extended by a week.

Doug Ford told reporters in London Monday afternoon that, of the 190,000 party members, 100,000 have not yet received the personal identification number required to access the online voting system.

“This is about the members… they’ve called the party, waited on hold for 20 minutes, after waiting 20 minutes it gets disconnected. They are beside themselves,” said Ford. “This system that we have is a broken system.”

The former Toronto city councillor said the complicated voting process has many party supporters, seniors, in particular, feeling left out. On top of the voting deadline extension, Ford is calling for paper ballots to be made available for those struggling with the online system.

“A Progressive Conservative party is about making sure we allow every single member the opportunity to vote. I am asking the party to go to a paper ballot,” said Ford.

The voting deadline in the leadership race was already extended by the party over the weekend, from noon on March 8 to March 9. The voter registration deadline has seen two extensions, first to March 5 and now to March 7.

Ford is calling on fellow leadership candidates Christine Elliott, Caroline Mulroney, and Tanya Granic Allen to back his deadline extension idea.

“There is no rush, we shouldn’t be rushing this and I don’t know why we are rushing this process. It is more important that (members) have the democratic right to vote,” said Ford.

If the voting deadline is not extended results of the leadership contest are expected to be announced on Saturday.