More than 1.6 million BC voters mailed back their ballots in the heated referendum over the HST, according to Elections BC. The provincial agency started mailing ballots on June 13 to the three million eligible voters. The return deadline was extended due to the recent Canada Post strike. But acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James says results won’t be tabulated until August 25. James says he expects the referendum will cost the province approximately $8.9 million.