A preliminary count of HST ballots indicates that more than 1.6 million registered voters returned the packages by the deadline of 4:30 p.m., Friday, August 5, 2011.
In comparison, the mail-based 2002 Treaty Negotiations Referendum saw 790,182 voting packages returned.
Elections BC mailed an HST Referendum Voting Package to each registered voter beginning June 13, 2011. As of July 22, 2011, there were 3,063,170 registered voters.
The Acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James extended two key dates in the HST Referendum to compensate for a disruption in Canada Post services; the deadline to request an HST Referendum Voting Package was extended to midnight, July 22, 2011 and the close of voting deadline was extended to 4:30 p.m. Friday, August 5, 2011.
James also noted "despite the extension adding approximately $500,000 to the cost of the referendum, I am pleased to report that our revised estimate as to the overall cost is $8.9 million, down from $12 million."
Elections BC received 87,617 telephone calls to its Contact Centre since June 13, 2011.
Referendum voting results are expected to be reported on or about August 25, 2011.