Tory voters in northern Ontario frustrated they didn't receive ballots in time for leadership vote
TIMMINS -- A couple in Cochrane is frustrated they will not be able to vote for a candidate in the Conservative Party of Canada's leadership race on Sunday.
The party is boasting a big increase in membership and is set to elect a new leader to replace Andrew Scheer.
There are four candidates vying for the title, but it's unlikely any of them will be getting votes from Karen and Jeff Beamish who live in Cochrane.
They say they've made numerous attempts to have the ballots mailed to them, but so far none have arrived and the deadline to cast them was 5 p.m. on Friday
"I've been a member of the CPC party for quite some time, so I want to know why myself and other people haven't received their ballots and what are they going to do about it?," said Karen Beamish.
She said for the past four weeks, she's placed several calls to party workers who guaranteed her the ballots would be mailed to them. However, she told CTV News, none have arrived.
"I don't think that it's justified just to allow this to slip," she said. "There should be some kind of investigation as to why people aren't receiving their ballots and given their democratic right to vote in Canada."
Beamish said she's not angry, but she is frustrated, especially since they have donated money to the party. She still hopes to get a response.
In an email to CTV news, Cory Hann, director of communications for the Conservative Party of Canada said:
"The party does its absolute best to ensure every member wanting to vote gets that chance. With the pause of our race in March, it meant an extension of our membership cut-off, and the original structure of this race actually allowed for more time to vote this election than last time despite being a fraction of the length of the 2017 leadership.
Ballots were mailed
"We spent the months leading up to the ballot deadline reconfirming members' addresses and encouraging members that have moved to confirm that with us. To date, we've mailed a ballot to every member. In rare cases where that ballot is said to not have been received, we've resent the ballot, and in some cases, doing so multiple times."
Hann said so far, they have received more than 165,000 ballots, which is a record turnout for a leadership race in Canada, and even higher turnout than the party's 2017 leadership.
"There is no perfect voting system and the vote by mail process is what is laid out in our constitution," he said. "At every point during the 2020 leadership process, it has been our goal to encourage broad participation, encourage members to vote, and help them to do so. We regret any situation where someone may not have been able to vote that wanted to."
A new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada will be elected by party members this Sunday.