A change proposed by the Conservatives in their new election bill would “directly affect” some Canadians’ right to vote, former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley said Tuesday. Abolishing the process of vouching, which serves as proof of a voter’s identification, “will impact very negatively on the values of participation, impartiality and transparency,” Kingsley told a committee of MPs. ”This will directly affect the constitutional right to vote of a significant number of Canadians without justification.” “Please. Please do not get rid of it,” he said.
Articles about voting issues in North America outside the United States.
The elections office in Quebec is throwing cold water on a theory put forward by the Parti Quebecois on Sunday that students from elsewhere in Canada could be trying to steal the provincial election. The PQ expressed concern about media reports that an influx of English-speakers and other non-francophones from outside the province were trying to vote in the April 7 election. By late afternoon, however, the province’s chief electoral officer brought forward numbers showing there were no signs of an irregular increase in voter registration.
El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal Monday dismissed opposition claims of irregularities and confirmed the leftist ruling party candidate as president-elect. Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a former guerrilla commander who ran in the March 9 vote, will be presented with his credentials on Tuesday, said the head of the court, Eugenio Chicas.
Canada: Faltering Parti Québécois fears voters from outside province are trying to steal election | The Globe and Mail
The Parti Québécois is trying to bolster a faltering campaign with a new wedge issue on Quebec identity, accusing Ontarians and other Canadians from outside Quebec of trying to steal the provincial election. PQ Leader Pauline Marois went to a sugar shack and left the main campaign spotlight to three of her candidates Sunday. They held a news conference at PQ headquarters to demand an investigation over an influx of voters – frequently young anglophone university students – who are trying to register for the April 7 vote. “Will the Quebec election be stolen by people from Ontario and the rest of Canada?” said Bertrand St-Arnaud, the Justice Minister and PQ candidate in Chambly. “The coming week is crucial for democracy.”
Canada: Director General debunks Parti Quebecois complaint, says voter registration requests are down | CTV
Quebec election officials are debunking the notion that voter registration requests are up since the 2012 election, as Denis Dion, a spokesman for the electoral office, told CTV Montreal that only one of five ridings cited by the Parti Quebecois has seen a rise in demands to vote. One of the five ridings had 56 more requests over this time in the last election, while the others were significantly down. The Parti Quebecois had asked the Director General of Elections to take action concerning reports of unusual voter registration requests in three Montreal-area ridings and two others in the Eastern Townships. Justice Minister Bertrand Saint-Arnaud, MNA Leo Bureau-Blouin and Families Minister Nicole Leger demanded stricter supervision and training for election officials determining voter eligibility, daily reports on voter registration and a post-revision report.
Mayor Frank Kinsella said he was ready to endorse electronic voting for the next election in the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands until a couple of Sundays ago. That’s when the mayor tried to vote for Prescott to be named “Hockeyville” in the national competition run by Kraft. Kinsella said he went through the prompts on the telephone, but at the end, the computer cut him off without recording his vote. If a computer system run by the multinational Kraft has glitches and cannot record votes properly, then how can we trust a small company to run the municipal vote in the TLTI, Kinsella wondered at last week’s council meeting. Clerk Vanessa Latimer recommended that the township contract Intelivote at a cost of about $28,000 to run telephone and electronic voting for the next municipal election on Oct. 27. Intelivote is the company selected by a number of towns and townships in Leeds and Grenville, including Gananoque, which sent out a joint tender call. But Intelivote is also the company that ran electronic voting for the TLTI for the 2010 election, which was plagued by bugs and glitches in the system.
Canada: Neufeld says more than 100,000 to be disenfranchised under feds’ election bill, will testify at House Affairs Committee next week | Hill Times
The opposition parties have former B.C. elections chief Harry Neufeld at the top of their witness lists for testimony on proposed Conservative election law after he warned that “well over 100,000” electors will be denied their right to vote if the government goes ahead with plans to prohibit voter vouching for electors with no official ID. Mr. Neufeld, who conducted an exhaustive review of electoral law and rule compliance in the 2011 election, has challenged the government’s position that widespread irregularities he found in the way vouching was administered on election day were indicative of potential fraud, as well as the government claim that an Elections Canada voter information card is too unreliable to be also used by voters who have insufficient ID to prove their residence. Elimination of the two voter identification methods are among the most controversial aspects of Bill C-23, and are also on a list of measures in the legislation that the opposition says could benefit the Conservative party the most because electors who generally use either vouching or the information cards—which Elections Canada had planned to approve as official residence ID for the next election—have tended to support parties other than the Conservatives.
The City of St. John’s will ask the province to allow online voting in municipal elections. At Tuesday’s regular meeting, city council approved a recommendation from its audit and accountability committee to ask the provincial government to amend the Municipal Elections Act to allow Internet voting. The recommendation grew out of a broader review of the municipal elections process. “The recommendation of the committee was that we would seek support, or guidance, or permission from the provincial government to allow us to look at Internet voting,” said Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth. City clerk Neil Martin explained that an amendment to provincial legislation would be necessary to allow a community to permit online voting, much like one was required to allow voting by mail. … Two councillors — Art Puddister and Wally Collins — said the potential risks of online voting are too great to ask the provincial government for the legislative amendment.
The Conservative government’s Fair Elections Act threatens Canada’s global reputation as a “guardian of democracy and human rights,” a group of international researchers says. The open letter, provided to The Globe and Mail, comes from 19 professors from universities in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and Ireland. The letter lays out objections to the government bill to overhaul Canada’s electoral laws. “We believe that this Act would prove [to] be deeply damaging for electoral integrity within Canada, as well as providing an example which, if emulated elsewhere, may potentially harm international standards of electoral rights,” the scholars write in the letter. In particular, the changes would “undermine the integrity of the Canadian electoral process, diminish the effectiveness of Elections Canada, reduce voting rights, expand the role of money in politics and foster partisan bias in election administration,” they write.
A former Marxist guerrilla leader won El Salvador’s presidential election by less than 7,000 votes, final results showed on Thursday, and his right-wing rival continued to press to have the vote annulled. Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), which as a militant group fought a string of U.S.-backed governments in a 1980-1992 civil war, won 50.11 percent support in Sunday’s vote, results showed. Challenger Norman Quijano, the 67-year-old former mayor of San Salvador and candidate of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) party, had 49.89 percent support. He has filed a claim to annul the election due to fraud. The electoral tribunal’s president, Eugenio Chicas, said the five-member court unanimously validated the election results, showing that Sanchez Ceren beat Quijano by 6,364 votes.