About the Elections Fraud Act:
The Elections Fraud Act follows up on recommendations from a June 2006 report by the House of Commons Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on the integrity of the federal election process. A key reform in this legislation is the introduction of a uniform voter identification system at the polls for Canadian federal elections.
Introduction of Elections Fraud Bill:
October 24, 2006
An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Public Service Employment Act
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform
Status of Elections Fraud Bill:
Received Royal Assent June 22, 2007. New provisions of the Act came into force on July 26, 2007.
Summary of the Elections Fraud Act:
Identification Required at the Polls
Previously voters listed on the National Register of Electors gave their name and address at the poll and it was crossed off the list. If a deputy returning officer, poll clerk, candidate or candidate's representative had doubts about a voter's identity they could ask for proof of identity and residence or ask the voter to swear an oath. Unregistered electors could register at the polls by presenting satisfactory proof of identity and residence and completing a registration certificate. No photo identity was required.
Under the Elections Fraud Act
- voters are required to show a piece of government-issued identification with a name, photograph and residential address (a drivers licence for example) before voting.
- voters without photo identification must show two pieces of identification from an authorized list to establish identity and residence.
- voters without acceptable pieces of identification are required to swear an oath as to their identity and residence and be vouched for by a qualified voter.
- if there is doubt that a voter is 18 years or over or a Canadian citizen, the voter will be required to sign a written affidavit.
To improve the accuracy of the National Register of Electors, this legislation
- lets Canadians filing income tax returns make a voluntary statement of Canadian citizenship to update the National Register of Electors.
- allows the use of income tax returns to inform Elections Canada so that deceased Canadians can be removed from the National Register of Electors.
The Elections Fraud Act also includes a number of other operational and technical improvements to the administration of federal elections in Canada.