Dear editor: I would like to take this opportunity to respond to a number of points that Ms. Balasubramaniam made in her recent letter, and clarify the changes to identification requirements that are proposed in the Fair Elections Act. The Fair Elections Act proposes to eliminate the process of vouching, as well as prohibiting the use of voter identification cards as valid proof of address. It is important to note that the voter information card has never been included on Elections Canada’s list of acceptable identification, and has only been accepted in recent elections as part of a limited pilot project. Election Canada’s own post-election study showed that as many as one out of every six voter information cards in the 2011 election contained inaccurate address information, while a small number of electors actually received multiple cards made out in their name. The integrity of our electoral system is far too important to allow for these inaccurate documents alone to be used as identification. The Fair Elections Act does not change any of the other identification requirements to cast a ballot, including the list of 39 acceptable forms of identification. All voters will continue to have the option of presenting one piece of government issued ID containing their name, address, and photo, or the option of presenting two acceptable pieces of ID containing their name, including one that contains their current address. As just one example, under the second option, a student would still be able to vote by presenting their student ID card and an eligible piece of mail, such as a credit card, phone, internet, cable, or hydro bill. I invite any students that would like to learn more about the Fair Elections Act, including the identification requirements, to visit my website at www.peterbraid.ca for more information on this important legislation.
Member of Parliament,