Election certification delays few, but a ‘test run’ for 2024
With the federal election less than two weeks away, Elections Canada officials say they are taking a “test run” in making sure all Canadians have ready access to their voter ID in time for the vote.
A new report, from the non-partisan Centre for Democratic Renewal, says the government has been “delaying the certification of the next-generation photo ID to the end of 2018, which would allow eligible voters to have one ready by election day, on or before Oct. 21, 2019.
“But the government needs until November 1, 2017, to complete the process of designing the Canada-wide, mandatory ID system. That means thousands will have to wait until after the election.”
The report says the certification process has been “delayed or cancelled in about half of provinces” because of concerns about the software and technology needed to create the new ID.
“At the provincial level, it is clear that the most important test case is in Ontario,” the report says.
In late November, Elections Ontario announced that it would not be able to certify the new identification requirement, meaning it would have to wait until after the election.
It is part of the fallout from last year’s Supreme Court decision that threw out parts of the Canada Elections Act.
After the ruling left the new identification requirement in place, Ontario made clear it would need to go it alone on the issue.
The federal election will be held on Oct. 21, 2019. On July 22, it was announced that the deadline for the creation of a national mandatory photo ID is Dec. 31, 2018.
Canada-wide, electors will need to have an ID card — one that shows their name, date of birth and photo — or a different federally issued photo ID.
The change would see the government move to collect the photo IDs of electors and issue them only to those who meet the criteria for