Liberal Party MPs on the House affairs committee have suggested that Canadians should be allowed to vote by telephone during a pandemic election, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
The MPs declared “that Elections Canada should explore the options for establishing a vote by phone option” in a majority report delivered to Parliament.
The idea saw opposition from Conservative and Bloc Quebecois MPs, who have suggested that such a plan would make it easier to commit voter fraud.
“Phone voting poses considerable challenges for properly verifying the identity of voters who vote this way,” wrote Bloc Quebecois MPs in a minority report. “It also opens the door to fraud.”
The majority report also recommended expanding the use of mail-in voting tenfold, suggesting that it would “ensure voters are aware of how they can vote should they miss the mail-in deadline.”
“Ballots received after the close of polls should not be counted,” Conservative MPs responded. “The election should end on Election Day and Canadians deserve to know the results without delay.”
Liberals have suggested that up to five million Canadians could vote by mail in the next election, over one quarter of Canadian voters.
The NDP, meanwhile, has expressed concern over an existing clause in the Elections Act, arguing that it leaves elections open to abuse by the cabinet. The clause in question allows cabinet to “order the withdrawal of a writ for any electoral district” affected by natural disaster, including a pandemic.
“In an election where the right to govern may hang on only a handful of seats, the exercise of this unilateral power may determine who is invited to form a government following an election where several seats or more remain vacant,” NDP MPs argued. “This raises the spectre of a government whose political legitimacy is openly challenged.”
Story cited here.