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Legislation

Are voter identification and expatriate voting problems?

By Nelson Wiseman      

Despite what the Liberals have suggested and Elections Canada alleges, the voter identification requirements introduced by the Harper government’s Orwellian-titled Fair Elections Act proved not to be serious impediments to voter turnout.

Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould, pictured May 25 on the Hill, is the minister responsible for the Elections Modernization Act. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

TORONTO—Most of the public attention devoted to the Trudeau government’s proposed Elections Modernization Act has focused on the proposals to limit the length of federal election campaigns, the regulation of third-party political activity, and the restrictions on spending in the period immediately before the official campaign period. Much less attention has been devoted to the bill’s voter identification requirements and the extension of the franchise to Canadians living abroad. Despite what the Liberals have suggested and Elections Canada alleges, the voter identification requirements introduced by the Harper Conservative government’s Orwellian-titled Fair Elections Act proved not to be serious impediments to voter turnout.

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