October 18, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Federal election in the course of pandemic could turn to 2-day weekend voting: Elections Canada

Federal election during pandemic could turn to 2-day weekend voting: Elections Canada

Elections Canada is ramping up its plan to operate a pandemic election that could arrive as early as this slide — a prepare that could include a two-working day weekend voting period of time instead of the traditional a person-day Monday vote.

The move would assist maintain physical distancing concerning voters and enable better entry to polling locations, such as faculties, that if not would be unavailable, in accordance to new info on the agency’s web site

Elections Canada suggests it can be also functioning on ways to provide voters in long-time period care services by rising the variety of voting days and tailoring the method taken to just about every facility.

The agency also is looking at means to meet up with the potential demand for mail-in ballots. For instance, ballots sent in ahead of the voting deadline could continue on to be approved until eventually the day following the two-day weekend polling period of time. The agency warns, having said that, that an raise in mail-in voting could delay the tabulation of results.

Less than the heading “tactic to a possible tumble election,” Elections Canada claims that if an election were to be identified as in advance of the proposed measures are thoroughly implemented or passed by Parliament, the company would focus on physical distancing and other general public wellbeing actions at polling stations and elections offices, which include supplying protective tools for personnel.

“Presented the current minority government, an election could take spot at any time,” the web-site reads.

Formal recommendations will be put to Parliament in September soon after Elections Canada consults with stakeholders and surveys Canadians.

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“The health and basic safety of all members in the electoral method is of paramount significance: this features electors, hundreds of election workers and candidates and their staff,” the internet site reads. 

“As a consequence, Elections Canada reviewed its methods and inside ability in buy to prepare for the shipping and delivery of an obtainable, safe and sound and secure election.”

Some of the steps already in the operates by Elections Canada contain:

  • Implementing physical distancing and other general public health guidelines at polling spots and community Elections Canada offices.
  • Purchasing masks and single-use pencils to be supplied to voters. Voters also will have the choice of bringing their have masks, pens or pencils.
  • Changing the agency’s product of functions to lessen the number of personnel essential in buy to facilitate actual physical distancing.
  • Getting rid of the Vote on Campus method, because most colleges and universities are delivering packages on the internet.
  • Expanding digital education for electoral personnel to restrict the number of in-man or woman interactions.

Elections Canada explained it is not considering on the internet voting at this time.

“Employing this sort of a alter would involve considerable organizing and testing in buy to ensure that the agency preserves sure features of the vote, together with confidentiality, secrecy, trustworthiness and integrity,” the site reads. “Presented the current operational and time constraints, this option can not be explored effectively at this time.”

The company is now identifying the cost of proposed pandemic-connected changes. An estimate will be unveiled after an evaluation is finish.

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Doing the job group on COVID-19 election

Elections Canada claims it is getting component in a COVID-19 election preparation working group of professionals from electoral administration bodies across the state, and is checking media studies about election challenges nationally and internationally.

New Brunswick is likely to be the to start with jurisdiction in Canada to maintain a pandemic election its vote is scheduled for Sept. 14. Officers there are expecting much more people to take part with mail-in ballots. Other safety measures are in place to be certain protection, these types of as bodily distancing at polling stations.

Elections Canada also has done investigate on potential voter turnout and the uptake for numerous voting procedures. 

As of mid-August 2020, that investigation suggests most Canadians would vote in human being, both at a polling station (29.4 per cent) or at an progress polling station (28.6 per cent), while other individuals (21.8 for each cent) reported they would favor to vote by mail.

In an “extreme and unexpected situation,” based mostly on the assistance of general public wellbeing professionals, the Main Electoral Officer could establish it can be not achievable to operate an election in 1 or more electoral districts and advocate that the election be postponed.

That has by no means occurred in Elections Canada’s background.