Tabling of the Special Report of the Chief Electoral Officer: Administering an Election during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Gatineau, October 6, 2020 — The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Stéphane Perrault, has submitted a special report to Parliament about the administration of a federal election during the pandemic.
In the Special Report of the Chief Electoral Officer: Administering an Election during the COVID‑19 Pandemic, Mr. Perrault recommends the study and adoption of a limited number of legislative measures that would temporarily modify certain provisions in the Canada Elections Act. These measures would be limited in scope and expire six months after the next general election.
The main elements of the report are:
Element 1: Replacement of Monday as polling day with Saturday and Sunday as a two‑day polling period, and an increase in voting hours from 12 hours over one day to 16 hours over two days.
Element 2: Authorization for the Chief Electoral Officer to determine how and when voting will occur in long‑term care facilities.
Element 3: Adjustments to the power to adapt the Act in an emergency situation in order to provide greater flexibility in response to the pandemic.
In consultation with public health authorities, Elections Canada has been working on implementing several administrative changes that would maintain the safety and integrity of the electoral process. The legislative recommendations are aimed at improving services to electors in the context of a pandemic.
"Although the recommendations made in this special report are limited in scope, their implementation requires changes to business processes and IT systems. With this in mind, I ask Parliament and the Government to swiftly consider the contents of this report and act to assist Elections Canada in preparing for a general election under pandemic conditions.," said Chief Electoral Officer, Stéphane Perrault.
Elections Canada is an independent, non-partisan agency that reports directly to Parliament.
Elections Canada Media Relations
Subscribe to our news service at elections.ca.