IT requirements for Implementation of Bill C-19 – CEO Appearance on Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (COVID-19 response)
The passage of Bill C-19 would require Elections Canada to update its electoral procedures and IT systems in a short period of time.
Eight (8) key electoral systems need to be modified, particularly to accommodate three polling days.
It would take three (3) months for the additional IT changes required for the proposed legislative changes included in Bill C-19 to be integrated into Elections Canada's existing systems and tested for the delivery of a secure election.
There are over 40 IT systems that are critical to the conduct of the election. Legislative changes require significant changes to 8 of these systems. Some of the changes to IT systems include voter information services, electoral personnel pay systems and key databases.
Enabling the use of driver's license to verify identity and address when requesting Vote-by-Mail ballots electronically would take several more months of additional IT changes. Using driver's licence number to validate identity as part of the registration process is also dependent on the availability of sharing agreements with respective provinces.
As many systems would be impacted by the legislative changes, all changes made to IT electoral systems will be tested and integrated together. An additional capacity testing will need to be performed to get assurances that IT systems can sustain a general election.