Story by Sharon Vanhouwe, MyCowichanValleyNow.com 

VICTORIA, B.C- Elections BC has extended the voting period for the Referendum on Electoral Reform.

The organizations will now accept voting packages until 4:30 on Friday December 7th.

The Chief Electoral Officer says the Canada Post rotating strikes have impacted accessibility and they want to ensure voters are not prevented from participating through no fault of their own.

Having said that, however, voters are encouraged to return their completed voting package as soon as possible so Elections BC has enough time to contact them if their returned package is missing any required information.

The deadline to request a voting package remains midnight tonight.

Eligible voters can request a package:

By visiting elections.bc.ca/ovr until midnight tonight

By calling 1-800-661-8683 until midnight tonight

By visiting a Service BC Centre or Referendum Service Office during office hours today (find locations and hours at elections.bc.ca/rso)

As of 8:20 a.m. Nov. 23, 980,000 packages are estimated to have been received by Elections BC, which reflects approximately 30 percent returned. This does not include packages that have been received by Canada Post but not yet transferred to Elections BC.

Northern Vancouver Island returns are as follows:

Courtenay-Comox –  11,094 ballots returned, or 24.9 percent of the electorate;

North Island  – 9,564 ballots returned, or 22.4 percent of the electorate; and

Powell River-Sunshine Coast – 8,760 ballots returned, or 22 percent of the electorate.