Electoral Insight - Technology in the electoral process
Wayne Brown, Elections Canada
The growing number of extensive Web sites hosted by Canadian and international electoral organizations is evidence of the popularity of the Internet as a ready source of information about electoral and related matters. Here's where to find some of these excellent sites.
http://www.elections.ca is the Web site of Elections Canada, which administers federal elections and referendums in Canada. Here you can find Canadian electoral legislation, information about voter registration, press releases and the Chief Electoral Officer's speeches and reports to Parliament. The site also presents the 1997 general election results, and searchable databases of Canadian electoral districts and information about candidates and the financial reports of the political parties and candidates. There are also links to the sites of the federal registered political parties.
http://www.fec.gov is the Web site of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the independent regulatory agency in the United States that administers and enforces the Federal Elections Campaign Act (FECA). The site presents financial reports for Presidential, House and Senate campaigns, information about electronic filing, recent election results, and voter registration and turnout data.
http://www.aec.gov.au is the Web site of the Australian Electoral Commission, which conducts referendums and elections in that Commonwealth. It has details about enrolment (compulsory for Australian citizens 18 years of age and over) and extensive historical electoral information, as well as a virtual tour of the national tally room in Canberra for the 1998 Australian election and a link to another virtual tour of Parliament House.
http://www.idea.int is the Web site of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), whose objectives are to advance sustainable democracy and improve electoral processes worldwide. This site boasts "the most comprehensive global collection of political participation statistics available," including voter turnout numbers at parliamentary and presidential elections since 1945 for more than 170 countries.
http://www.ifes.org is the Web site of the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), a private non-profit organization, which provides non-partisan technical assistance in promoting democracy worldwide. The site presents a calendar of election dates and results for elections held in countries around the world since 1998. It also provides a Buyer's Guide for election services, supplies and equipment, including a list of companies that supply everything from ballot boxes to electronic voting machines.
http://www.aceproject.org is the Web site of the Administration and Cost of Elections (ACE) Project, a joint endeavour of IDEA, IFES and the United Nations. It is the first on-line global information resource created to impart alternatives in election administration. About 5 000 pages of information include sample forms and manuals from many nations, as well as country case studies on innovations and cost effectiveness. The ACE Project information is provided in English, French and Spanish.
http://www.cogel.org is the Web site of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL). The council provides its members with avenues for the exchange of information regarding ethics, elections, campaign finance, lobbying and freedom of information. Members can participate in various on-line discussion groups on those subjects.
http://www.comparlhq.org.uk is the Web site of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, based in the United Kingdom, which unites more than 142 parliaments and legislatures in the pursuit of parliamentary democracy and the evolution of representative government. The site has information about the Parliamentary Information and Reference Centre and about A Guide for Election Observers, a handbook for parliamentarians and others assigned to monitor election practices.
http://www.parl.gc.ca is the Parliamentary Internet site of Canada's Senate, House of Commons and Library of Parliament. It provides information about the ongoing and daily proceedings of the House of Commons and Senate and their individual committees studying legislation. The site also lists Cabinet members and senators and members of Parliament, by province and territory and by political affiliation.
http://www.personnalite-jeunesse.qc.ca is a French-language Web site, which promotes Elections Canada's largest simulation for teaching high school students about the electoral process. Elections Canada recently celebrated its 10th year of participation in the Salon Pepsi Jeunesse, an annual youth exhibit where a new Personnalité Jeunesse is elected each year.
PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES
Most of the electoral agencies of Canada's thirteen provinces and territories also have their own Web sites. Many have information about voter registration, election results and voter turnout statistics. One of the most interesting sites is that of Elections PEI, which also provides a colourful interactive map of electoral districts and the provincial election results dating back to 1873, a few years after Prince Edward Island joined Confederation. The provincial and territorial site URLs are listed below.
http://elections.bc.ca – Elections BC
http://www.electionsnwt.com – Elections NWT
http://www.assembly.ab.ca/ELECTORA/Chief/main.htm – Office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Alberta
http://www.elections.mb.ca – Elections Manitoba
http://www.electionsontario.on.ca – Elections Ontario
http://www.dgeq.qc.ca – Directeur général des élections du Québec
http://www.gov.nb.ca/elections/– Office of the Chief Electoral Officer of New Brunswick
http://www.gov.ns.ca/govt/foi/Chief.htm – Office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Nova Scotia
http://www.gov.pe.ca/election/ – Elections PEI
http://www.gov.nf.ca/electoraloffice/oceo.htm – Office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Newfoundland
E-mail addresses for the other provincial and territorial electoral offices are available on the Elections Canada Web site (http://www.elections.ca).
The locations and contents of Web sites change periodically and some may differ slightly from the summaries provided above.
The opinions expressed are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect those of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada.