North America

Articles about voting issues in North America outside the United States.

Mexico: Fears grow that Russia could meddle in Mexican election | The Hill

Fears that Russia could meddle in next year’s Mexican presidential election are growing. While there is no hard evidence to suggest that Moscow will be involved in the contest, its effort to disrupt last year’s U.S. election and reports that it is trying to affect elections in Europe have augmented concerns. “Russia meddles in elections, we know that,” said Christopher Wilson, deputy director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute. Sen. Armando Ríos Piter of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) told The Hill on Monday that the prospect of Russian interference in Mexican elections “must not be minimized. If [Russia] intervened in the United States, there’s every reason to think that Mexico is a target for attack,” said Ríos Piter, who recently launched an independent presidential bid. Read More

Canada: Liberals say no to mandatory and online voting | CBC

The Liberal government says it will not pursue mandatory or online voting for federal elections. The Liberals had raised the ideas for consideration in their 2015 election platform and tasked the special committee on electoral reform with studying the possibilities. But MPs on the special committee were divided on the merits of mandatory voting and concerned about the security of online voting, and recommended against pursuing either.  In a formal response to the committee’s report, submitted on Monday, Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould said the government agrees with the committee. “While Canadians feel that online voting in federal elections would have a positive effect on voter turnout, their support is contingent on assurances that online voting would not result in increased security risks,” Gould wrote. “We agree.” Read More

Canada: Minorities and municipalities challenge Quebec’s new electoral map | Montreal Gazette

Even if Quebec’s chief electoral officer considers the issue closed, some minority and municipal leaders in Montreal are mobilizing to fight the province’s new electoral map. As the groundswell of opposition grows, some are talking about raising funds for a possible legal challenge to the new map, which west end politicians consider a stab in the back due to previous assurances it wouldn’t change. And the Greek community in Laval is in the same foul mood, saying the new map is splitting their community between two ridings. In fact, the new map has the community’s largest orthodox church, Holy Cross, in one riding while the parishioners are in another. Read More

Canada: Petition to reverse Liberals’ electoral reform U-turn gains momentum | CBC

The man behind an online petition calling for the Liberal government to recommit to its electoral reform pledge says early signs of a flip-flop from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prompted him to launch the initiative months before last Wednesday’s announcement. Inspiring the petition was Justin Trudeau’s interview in Le Devoir on Oct. 19. “In that interview, he signalled electoral reform might not happen because, he said, support for it had waned,” petitioner Jonathan Cassels told CBC News. Cassels, who works in banking, said he often engages in political discussions via social media. But when he expressed concern over the prime minister’s words online, Cassels said he received dozens of responses. Read More

Canada: First-past-the-post electoral system advances ‘democratic values,’ says rookie Democratic Institutions Minister Gould | The Hill Times

A week after the Trudeau government scrapped its promise to change Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system in time for the next federal election, the new Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould defended the current voting system before the House Affairs Committee Tuesday, saying it “advances a number of democratic values. The first-past-the-post system may not be perfect, but no electoral system is. But it has served this country for 150 years and advances a number of democratic values Canadians hold dear, such as strong local representation, stability, and accountability,” said Ms. Gould (Burlington, Ont.) whose new mandate letter states that “changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate.” Read More

Canada: Elections Canada studies electronic blank ballot delivery | The Canadian Press

Elections Canada is exploring the potential of an electronic ballot delivery system to speed up the process for absentee voters. The agency is calling it a fact-finding exercise to learn more from potential suppliers on how to design a system that would allow voters unable or unwilling to vote on election day or at advance polls to download and print a ballot — instead of waiting for one to show up in the mail. “Elections Canada is seeking information on tools and technologies currently available in the market that could help improve the special ballot vote-by-mail service we currently offer,” Melanie Wise, a spokeswoman for the agency, wrote Monday in an email. Read More

Canada: Trudeau abandons pledge to reform Canada’s elections | Toronto Star

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau abandoned his promise to reform Canada’s electoral system on Wednesday, claiming no consensus has been found on an alternative system. Only two months after recommitting to electoral reform, Trudeau told newly appointed Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould that replacing the first-past-the-post system was no longer on the table. Trudeau’s decision shelves months of work by a special House of Commons committee, two separate public engagement and consultation exercises, numerous MP town hall meetings and one cross-country ministerial tour. Read More

Canada: Trudeau abandons electoral reform in reversal of Trudeau pledge | Reuters

Abandoning a major campaign promise, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government dropped plans on Wednesday to overhaul the country’s electoral system. The move, which prompted one opposition member of parliament to call Trudeau “a liar,” adds to pressure the Liberal Party prime minister is already facing for controversies surrounding cash-for-access fundraisers as well as an ethics probe into a vacation at a private island over the New Year’s holiday. Trudeau had promised during the 2015 election campaign that Canada would have a new voting system in place by the 2019 election, a reform expected to benefit smaller parties, such as the left-leaning Green Party, which holds only one seat in parliament. Read More

Haiti: OAS commends Haiti for concluding vote, notes low turnout | Associated Press

International monitors commended Haitian authorities on Monday for finishing an electoral cycle that started in 2015 but expressed concern over the low participation rate by voters. The Organization of American States had 77 observers monitoring a final round of legislative contests as well as long-overdue municipal elections held Sunday. In a preliminary report, the mission said holding local elections after 10 years was “an important milestone for the consolidation of democratic institutions in Haiti.” Read More

Canada: Online voting: We can ensure the research into how it happens is sound | Ottawa Citizen

Since the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) tabled its report in December, the national conversation has largely focused on potential changes to the electoral system. One of the committee’s more significant recommendations related to the future of online voting in Canada, however, has flown under the radar. The committee recommended that Elections Canada not adopt online voting at this time, but work with stakeholders to determine how election technologies can maintain electoral integrity and voter access, notably for persons with disabilities. This should not be dismissed as an insignificant recommendation as it has the potential to influence the modernization of voting in federal elections in Canada. While Elections Canada could certainly start work on this, development of online voting approaches in other jurisdictions has shown that working with experts – social and computer scientists – is a best practice. In Geneva, Switzerland, for example, the decision to leverage expert knowledge substantially improved the design of the online voting system. Read More