Canada’s Bill C-76 (Vouch Voting, No I.D. Necessary)

(Voting is critical to a democracy, but there must be safeguards)


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Bill C-76 is now getting its third reading in the House of Commons in Ottawa.

For some additional reading and context, this article covers citizenship and criminality for voting, while this article covers voter ID laws. They cover Canada/US/UK/Australia/New Zealand.

Cased in this omnibus bill, C-76 (which Liberals claim they hated while in opposition), is this, which waters down the requirements to vote legally in a Canadian election. From the summary:

The enactment also amends the Act to modernize voting services, facilitate enforcement and improve various aspects of the administration of elections and of political financing. Among other things that it does in this regard, the enactment….
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(d) authorizes the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to provide the Chief Electoral Officer with information about permanent residents and foreign nationals for the purpose of updating the Register of Electors;
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(e) removes the prohibition on the Chief Electoral Officer authorizing the notice of confirmation of registration (commonly known as a “voter information card”) as identification;
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(f) replaces, in the context of voter identification, the option of attestation for residence with an option of vouching for identity and residence;
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(g) removes the requirement for electors’ signatures during advance polls, changes procedures for the closing of advance polls and allows for counting ballots from advance polls one hour before the regular polls close;
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(h) replaces the right or obligation to take an oath with a right or obligation to make a solemn declaration, and streamlines the various declarations that electors may have the right or obligation to make under specific circumstances;

Yes, this is what is seems. (e) allows for Voter ID cards to be used as actual ID; (f) without ID, you can just sign an attestation or have somebody vouch for you; (g) means no signatures necessary in advance polling; (h) No oath needed after all?!

Rebutting those claims:
Leftist and social justice types claim that having strict voter ID laws is discrimination, as it makes it harder for poor people, and disadvantaged groups to get their voices heard. These disadvantaged people don’t often have proper ID or paperwork. They also claim that there is no evidence of “voter fraud”, despite what more right leaning people claim. However, these assertions are easily debunked.

(1) How is it discrimination to ensure that everyone voting has photo identification. There is no discrimination for the simple reason that everyone gets treated the same.

(2) Everyone who is a citizen of Canada or a legal resident has some sort of paper trail. They have a birth certificate (if born in Canada), or a citizenship card (if immigrated legally). However, if someone in the country illegally was trying to vote, then they wouldn’t have “documentation”.

(3) Everyone legally in the country is able to get photo ID, and to imply they are unable to is condescending. This seems like a ruse to make it easier for non-citizens to vote.

(4) There is the rebuttal that there are no documented cases of voter fraud. However, if the person is “undocumented”, then there would be no documentation of fraud. Bizarrely, lefties are actually correct about this.

(5) If, as they claim, large groups are unable to get valid photo identification for years on end, should they really be making decisions on the future of the country?

Now, for some of the revisions in the bill:


ORIGINAL

Alternative proof of residence

143(3) An elector who proves his or her identity by providing two pieces of identification of a type authorized under subsection (2.1) that establish the elector’s name may instead prove his or her residence by taking an oath in writing in the prescribed form — the form including the statement that he or she has received the oral advice set out in subsection 143.1(1) — if he or she is accompanied by another elector whose name appears on the list of electors for the same polling division who

(a) proves their own identity and residence to the deputy returning officer and poll clerk by providing the piece or pieces of identification referred to in paragraph (2)(a) or (b), respectively; and

(b) attests to the elector’s residence on oath in writing in the prescribed form, the form including the statements that

(i) they have received the oral advice set out in subsection 143.1(2),
(ii) they know the elector personally,
(iii) they know that the elector resides in the polling division,
(iv) they have not attested to the residence of another elector at the election, and
(v) their own residence has not been attested to by another elector at the election.

REPLACEMENT

Subsection 143(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Solemn declaration
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(3) An elector may instead prove his or her identity and residence by making the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.‍1(1) in writing if he or she is accompanied by another elector whose name appears on the list of electors for the same polling station and who
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(a) provides the election officer referred to in subsection (1) with the piece or pieces of identification referred to in paragraph (2)‍(a) or (b), respectively; and
(b) vouches for the elector by making the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.‍1(2) in writing.


ORIGINAL

Name and address corresponding closely to another
146 If a name and address in the list of electors correspond so closely with the name and address of a person who demands a ballot as to suggest that it is intended to refer to that person, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she takes the prescribed oath.

Person in whose name another has voted
147 If a person asks for a ballot at a polling station after someone else has voted under that person’s name, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she takes an oath in writing in the prescribed form. The form is to state the penalty that may be imposed under this Act on a person who is found guilty of requesting a second ballot at an election contrary to section 7 or of applying for a ballot in a name that is not his or her own contrary to paragraph 167(1)(a).

Name crossed off list in error
148 If an elector claims that his or her name has been crossed off in error from an official list of electors under subsection 176(2) or (3), the elector shall not be allowed to vote unless the returning officer verifies that the elector’s name was crossed off in error or the elector takes the oath referred to in section 147 in writing.

Failure to prove identity or residence
148.1 (1) An elector who fails to prove his or her identity and residence in accordance with section 143 or to take an oath otherwise required by this Act shall not receive a ballot or be allowed to vote

REPLACEMENT

Sections 146 to 148.‍1 of the Act are replaced by the following:

Name and address corresponding closely to another
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146 If the name and address of a person who asks for a ballot do not appear in the list of electors but a different name and address in that list correspond so closely as to suggest that they are intended to refer to that person, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she makes a solemn declaration in the prescribed form.
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Person in whose name another has voted
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147 (1) If a person asks for a ballot at a polling station after someone else has voted under that person’s name, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she makes the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.‍1(1) in writing.
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Requirement before making solemn declaration
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(2) An election officer shall, before the person makes the solemn declaration, advise the person in writing of the penalty that may be imposed under this Act on a person who is found guilty of voting or attempting to vote more than once contrary to section 281.‍5 or of requesting or applying for a ballot or special ballot in a name that is not his or her own contrary to paragraph 281.‍7(1)‍(a).
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Name crossed off list in error
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148 If an elector claims that his or her name has been crossed off in error from an official list of electors under subsection 176(2) or (3), the elector shall not be allowed to vote unless the returning officer verifies that the elector’s name was crossed off in error or the elector makes the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.‍1(1) in writing.
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Failure to prove identity or residence
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148.‍1 (1) An elector who fails to prove his or her identity and residence in accordance with section 143 or to make a solemn declaration otherwise required by this Act shall not receive a ballot or be allowed to vote.
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When elector refuses to make solemn declaration
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(2) If an elector refuses to make a solemn declaration on the ground that he or she is not required to do so under this Act, the elector may appeal to the returning officer. If, after consultation with the election officer in whose opinion the elector is required to make the solemn declaration, the returning officer decides that the elector is not required to make it, and if the elector is entitled to vote in the polling division, the returning officer shall direct that he or she be allowed to do so.


The bill goes on and on. Rather than go through the entire document, here is the takeaway:

The federal government, under the guise of “inclusivity” is watering down the requirements to vote. Demanding photo ID is a necessary step to ensure: (1) that the people voting are who they say they are; (2) that they have the right to vote in an election; (3) that they are not voting multiple times.

This requirement is not excessive, or an unreasonable thing to ask. However, it is an essential step in ensuring the fairness and accuracy of our elections.

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