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2015–16 Departmental Performance Report

Chief Electoral Officer's Message

I am pleased to present Elections Canada's 2015–16 Departmental Performance Report, which describes the agency's progress on its multi-year plans and priorities during the past fiscal year.

In its delivery of Canada's longest election in more than 140 years, Elections Canada focused on making electoral services more convenient and accessible for Canadians while strengthening trust in the electoral system.

The agency provided more convenient registration options and made information on registration, identification and voting procedures more accessible. It increased the number of locations for advance and special ballot voting, ensured that polling locations and procedures met increased accessibility standards for electors with disabilities, and successfully engaged groups that typically face higher barriers to voting.

Elections Canada also strengthened its capacity to detect and address incidents that could interfere with elector participation. To increase poll official compliance with polling day procedures, the agency implemented a revised training program and commissioned the new mandatory independent audit of poll worker performance. Elections Canada also completed the process of readjusting federal electoral boundaries and revamped its political financing systems, while continuing to work closely with political parties and other stakeholders to ensure that election services met the needs of all participants.

Voter turnout in the 42nd general election reached its highest point in over 20 years at the national level, increasing notably within some target groups. There was no evidence of systemic interference with voter participation, and the vast majority of electors and political entities continued to express confidence in Elections Canada's administration of the election.

Findings from post-election assessments were presented in two reports to Parliament in spring and fall of 2016, respectively, and informed my recommendations report that followed shortly after.

Despite its success, this election demonstrated in many ways that we have reached the optimal performance that can be achieved under the current electoral management regime. This is not the time for complacency. A tipping point has been reached and action is required now to meet and hopefully exceed electors' service needs. Elections Canada is currently pursuing an electoral services modernization agenda to further improve voting services, information, and registration for the next general election. We will assess and adopt re-engineered business practices that are supported by technology-based solutions to maximize accessibility, convenience and effectiveness through all stages of the voting journey. My recent recommendations for legislative changes aim to enable this modernization agenda while maintaining the integrity of the electoral process.

Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada