Fair Elections Act could deny vote to thousands: council

Proposed changes to rules around elections could deny thousands of people the right to vote, says the Council of Canadians.

Youth, seniors, the homeless particularly vulnerable under proposed election rules

Proposed changes to rules around elections could deny thousands of people the right to vote, says the Council of Canadians.

Many students and seniors don't have the identification required under the Fair Elections Acts, says Leo Broderick. (Council of Canadians)

One of the provisions in the Fair Elections Act, which is currently before Parliament, would end the practice of voters vouching for one another on election day. That means every voter would have to present proper ID before casting a ballot.

"Vouching which was a practice in the previous elections had been very helpful to people who don't have identification cards," said Leo Broderick, a member of the board of directors for the Council of Canadians.

"For example, driver's licence, many seniors don't have those. Many students don't have those as well."

Proper ID would include the voter's current address. This could be an issue for young people, who are particularly mobile, and for the homeless.

The Council of Canadians has presented a petition to the opposition in Ottawa with 60 thousand signatures asking for the Fair Elections Act to be withdrawn.

Elections Canada estimates 120,000 voters were vouched for in the 2011 federal election.

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