February 11, 2014

Stop US-style voter suppression becoming Canadian law

This statement was produced by the group Lead Now which is circulating a petition against the reforms described below.

The Harper Conservatives are trying to rush their 242-page election law through Parliament with minimal debate and no expert testimony, despite major flaws that would have lasting consequences for our democracy.

It boils down to this: instead of giving the people who investigate election fraud the power to compel testimony - the key power Elections Canada has needed to get to the bottom of the robocall scandal - this new election law would make it harder for young people, Aboriginal people and low-income people to vote.

Incredibly, the misleadingly named “Fair Election Law” would even make it illegal for Elections Canada to promote voting.

There’s still time to stop the worst parts of this bill from becoming law. The Conservatives promised this law to repair their reputation from the robocall election fraud scandal, and that makes them extra sensitive to a major public backlash.

The law contains some good measures to curb fraudulent robocalls. However, it imposes unnecessary new voter ID laws that would make it illegal for people to vote by using a voter identification card or by having someone “vouch” for their identity with a legal statement.

Independent reports have confirmed that fraud by individual voters is so rare that it basically doesn’t happen. In turn, 120,000 Canadians voted by being vouched for in the last election, and voter ID changes will hurt people who have a hard time establishing their address at election time the most.

We’ve seen a similar strategy used by US Republicans to disenfranchise people who they know are less likely to vote for them. 37 state legislature have enacted voter ID laws that mostly hurt the poor, people of colour, and women.

The Leadnow.ca came together in 2011 ahead of the last federal election to hold our politicians accountable and encourage people to get out to vote for the values that bring us together. We’ve fought for real consequences for the robocall scandal, now let’s fight to protect the voting rights of everyone living in this country.
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1 comment:

  1. This statement was produced by the group Lead Now which is circulating a petition against the reforms described below. Check status of Voter ID Card


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