08/05/2011 06:00 EDT | Updated 10/05/2011 05:12 EDT

Grab your tax ballot and march it to Elections BC: Deadline day for HST vote

VICTORIA - Soul searching on the province's tax destiny comes to an end for British Columbians later this afternoon, when Elections BC takes up the task of counting and computing the results.

Ballots for the HST referendum must be at Canada Post's Vancouver processing plant or an Elections BC collection centre or a Service BC centre by today's 4:30 p.m. deadline.

As early as Tuesday, Elections BC will begin verifying that ballots are from registered voters and then representatives from the government and opposition and from the pro- and anti-HST groups will observe the tally.

Elections BC spokesman Don Main says more than three million ballots were initially mailed out, another 14,300 people additionally registered to participate and 19,500 called to request replacement voting packages.

The unusual method of making tax policy began with a grassroots campaign that galvanized hundreds of thousands to sign a petition towards ousting the levy, culminating in a province-wide vote that ultimately hands the decision to the public.