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News Releases and Media Advisories

Improving Compliance with Voting Procedures at the Polls

Ottawa, Tuesday, April 30, 2013

  • The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Marc Mayrand, commissioned a report and recommendations by an independent electoral consultant on ways to improve compliance with registration and voting processes on election days.
  • The report, authored by Mr. Harry Neufeld, follows his six-month review of compliance with rules and standards that election officers are expected to follow during federal elections.
  • Key stakeholders, including political party representatives, provincial and territorial electoral agencies, and returning officers and front-line election workers, were actively engaged in the review to identify issues and potential solutions.
  • The report is in response to events that occurred in the riding of Etobicoke Centre during the May 2, 2011, general election. It details Mr. Neufeld's findings and provides recommendations to improve, simplify and modernize registration and voting processes for the future.
  • The report includes the Chief Electoral Officer's response to Mr. Neufeld's recommendations. Based on the report's findings and recommendations, Elections Canada will implement administrative improvements in time for the next general election, such as improving quality control at polling sites, simplifying procedures and improving recruitment and training practices. These enhancements will need to be accompanied by targeted legislative amendments in order to achieve measurable progress.
  • In the longer term, a redesign of the voting process is required to minimize complexity and thereby reduce the risk of error. Redesigning the voting process is a large undertaking and must start with approval from Parliament to pilot a new voting model in 2015.

"Elections Canada is fully committed to ensuring that elections are run with the highest level of diligence and accuracy," said Mr. Mayrand. "This report will guide the agency in making adjustments that will increase compliance with voting procedures at the polls. This is part of our ongoing effort to improve and modernize our election procedures and maintain the integrity of our electoral process."

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