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Meeting Summary – Inaugural Meeting December 1617, 2013

4. Electoral Services and Operations

Presentation

Different voting and registration services are available for electors. However, the current voting model raises various challenges, in particular as they relate to the organization of polling sites and the recruitment of a competent workforce. The current voter registration regime serves the majority of electors well, but first-time voters, more often than not, are not on the voters list come election day.

Short-term plans include establishing online voter registration and bringing special ballot voting services to campuses. Longer-term plans include introducing a new service model at polling sites (with computerized administration of the voters lists) and, further ahead, developing online voting services.

Discussion

While raising issues about security, members were supportive of online voting and expressed concern about the timeline to implement electronic voting. They wondered about Elections Canada's plans to have polling places on campus and suggested that the agency look at other jurisdictions that have successfully set up polling places in locations like shopping malls. Members urged the CEO to look at how to better reach young voters, particularly using social media to advertise and set up links to information about registering. They also recommended that Elections Canada incorporate more entertaining or lighthearted messages on its website in order to reach out to young voters.