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Conservative leadership hopefuls have until Friday to sign up members for fall vote

May 15 is also a red — or, in this case, possibly blue — letter day for the four Conservatives angling to replace Andrew Scheer as party leader. Under the rules laid out by the organizing committee, it’s also the very last day to sign up new (or returning) members in time for their names to make it onto the official voters list for the current contest.

But while it’s a safe bet that every campaign and contender will lose no time trumpeting their final sales numbers via every available social media platform, it’s also worth keeping in mind that, under the party’s weighted one-member-one-vote preferential ballot system, simply recruiting new — or current — members isn’t enough to secure a first-round victory.

Campaign teams will also have to make sure that they actually fill out and mail in that ballot so that it arrives at party headquarters no later than August 21.

Barring a sudden easing off of the current restrictions on in-person interactions, they’re going to have to do it from a safe distance, which means relying even more heavily on email blasts, social media bulletins and other technological rallying tools.

Adding to the topsy-turviness of the timeline is the absence of a firm date for announcing the results.

According to the latest dispatch from the organizing committee, the final tallies “will be announced as soon as those ballots can be properly processed and examined by scrutineers while respecting any health guidelines in place at that time,” which could mean hours, days or even weeks, depending on exactly what stage of the reopening process is underway at the time.

For the next few days, however, all four campaigns will be focused on racking up not just more membership sales but also collecting all the necessary contact data to keep in touch with those future voters over the next four months.

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