A provision in the Conservative government’s new elections act will limit the ability of Elections Canada to experiment with online voting — a limit the Opposition argues will suppress the votes of young people who are less likely to vote Tory than older demographics. “The only reason for this has to be singling out a reform that the Conservatives have particular problems with,” NDP Democratic Reform Critic Craig Scott said. “E-voting is something they know appeals to younger generations, which is not necessarily their voting cohort.”
Under existing election laws, Canada’s chief electoral officer can test electronic voting and other alternative voting methods as long as he has the approval of the parliamentary committees that oversee election matters.
But the Conservative’s new Fair Elections Act would require any foray into online voting to get the green light from the House of Commons and Senate. This means the Conservative-dominated Senate could shoot down proposals to experiment with online voting even if the party loses power in the House of Commons.