Electoral Reboot: the view from Elections Canada

Electoral Reboot: the view from Elections Canada

September 28, 2016 3:12pmET

Parliament should consider weekend voting, a maximum campaign length, and a host of other measures to improve voter turnout and modernize the electoral system, according to the outgoing head of Elections Canada.

Marc Mayrand, about to step down as chief electoral officer, filed his final post-election report to the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Among his dozens of recommendations:

  • A maximum length to federal campaigns, such as 50 days
  • Election Day on Saturday or Sunday instead of Monday
  • repeal the ban on foreign inducements to voters
  • a ban of posting photos of a marked ballot on social media

Mayrand also told MPs that major changes should reflect as much agreement as possible. He pointed to New Zealand, which requires 75-per-cent support in Parliament or a majority referendum vote:

I urge parliamentarians as much as possible to collaborate and seek a broad consensus when it comes to changes to the (Canada Elections) Act; our democratic system will be best strengthened when amendments reflect the views of a large number of political participants.”

Other recommendations include:

  • streamlined service at polling stations
  • returning the public education mandate to Elections Canada after being restricted by the previous government
  • pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds to identify future voters
  • Immigration officials should share information on non-citizens to prevent ineligible voters
  • Repealing the ban on voter information cards as a type of identification at the polls
  • More options for disabled voters, including home and curbside voting
  • Earlier opening times for advance polls
  • Mobile polling stations for remote locations
  • More types of media should be subject to broadcasting rules during campaigns

Mayrand spoke to the media about his report, the electoral reform process, and more:

Read Mayrand’s full report:

An Electoral Framework for the 21st Century (Elections Canada)

-Andrew Thomson