Fair Elections Act
Mr. Speaker, the Neufeld report showed that vouching is extremely difficult to administer. That is what led to the 42%, or higher, error rate. In fact, if we look at multiple errors, 80% of vouching transactions had errors. Why is that? Mainly because Elections Canada officials are well-meaning, on the ground in the ridings, but they tend to work one or two days every few years. Vouching is very complicated and, really, comes from an era when people did not have as many forms of ID on them as they do on any given day.
What our amendments to Bill C-23 would do, to answer the second part of my friend’s question, is address the fact that, yes, not enough of the 39 forms have ID. Even though there is the ability for attestation letters to satisfy certain groups, like students or those living in shelters, that sort of thing, we feel that the added safeguard would maximize voting by allowing someone to take an oath as per their residence that would be verified at the polls. They would still need to show identification as to who they are, so that no irregularity or fraud could result, but if they were not able to satisfy the residency requirement, an oath could be administered and they could proceed to mark their ballot. I think it is a good balance.