CCLA Calls for Clarity on Voting Rules

The CCLA is concerned about the restrictions placed on the rights of citizens living outside of the country to vote in the upcoming federal election.  The Canada Elections Act currently places restrictions on voting by individuals who have been absent from the country for more than five consecutive years.  These restrictions significantly curtail the basic democratic rights of Canadian citizens, many of whom still consider Canada home, have strong ties to the country, and intend to eventually return.  The CCLA has also learned that citizens living outside of the country are being given inconsistent and confusing information about their voter eligibility.  The restrictions appear to have been implemented inconsistently and there are some suggestions of a recent change in the way Elections Canada interprets the law.  The CCLA has written to Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer expressing significant concerns about the impact that this confusion may have on individuals’ fundamental democratic right to vote.  The CCLA urges the Chief Electoral Officer to clarify Elections Canada’s interpretation of the eligibility requirement, advise whether there has been a change in interpretation, and take steps to ensure that the law is applied fairly and consistently going forward.   

Read the CCLA’s letter to the Chief Electoral Officer here.