Mar 11, 2013 / 9:54 pm
Less than a third of the almost 300,000 members and supporters who signed up to choose the Liberal party's next leader have so far registered to vote, prompting front-runner Justin Trudeau's camp to complain about a host of technical glitches and request a one-week extension on registration.
With only three days left to register, just 89,000 had registered by Monday evening.
Members and supporters must register by Thursday in order to be entitled to vote.
The party boasted last week that 294,000 people had signed up over the course of the leadership contest.
Most signed up free of charge, taking advantage of the party's new supporter class, which was intended to broaden the Liberal base and engage more than just card-carrying, dues-paying members in the leadership vote.
While only a fraction so far have bothered to take the next step, spokeswoman Sarah Bain says the party is pleased with the number who've registered.
She said the party has seen "a healthy surge" in registrations as the Thursday deadline looms.
However, the Trudeau team, which has boasted of signing up as many as 165,000 supporters, has written the co-chairs of the leadership vote rules committee, expressing concern about numerous technical glitches that are preventing people from registering.
Trudeau representative Cyrus Reporter asks that registration be extended by one week and that the party "engage additional resources" to create a "high intensity phone bank" to contact anyone who has not yet registered.
Regardless of how many actually end up voting, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae last week said the supporter experiment has already been a success. It's added thousands of new names and contact information to the party's database, which is used to tap donors, recruit volunteers and target sympathetic voters during elections.
Still, the failure to register by two-thirds of supporters thus far suggests they have little attachment to the party, likely won't vote for the next leader during the week of April 6 and may not prove to be particularly useful to the party after that.
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