Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand, gave a stark warning to the Conservative government’s proposed election law changes as he alleged that they will disenfranchise voters, give political parties advantages over others, allow them too much access of information, hinder the power of investigators and muzzle what he can say publicly. Myrand appeared to give a testimony to the parliamentary committee on Thursday, which was only possible as part of a deal to end an opposition filibuster meant to slow the bill’s progress.
During his remarks, Mr. Mayrand gave elaborate an explanation of highlighted issues, primarily with the changes aimed to eliminate vouching, i.e. a process allowing someone to swear to anyone else’ identity at a voting booth, and ban the use of voter information cards as a form of identification. Mayrand stated that vouching is used frequently by those who can prove their identity but not their residence, including seniors, students and First Nations voters.