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Report on the Evaluations of the 41st General Election of May 2, 2011

Introduction

Elections Canada conducts studies following each general election so that it can evaluate its effectiveness in administering the election, including the activities and programs it implements during such events.

Following the 41st general election of May 2, 2011, Elections Canada conducted or commissioned 10 major surveys, studies and post-mortems to evaluate the main activities and programs delivered to Canadians.Footnote 1 Over the past decade, efforts have been made to systematize post-election evaluations to allow us to identify trends and thus gain a deeper understanding of the views and challenges facing electors and other stakeholders.

The results from these surveys and studies have been gathered and analyzed, and they are presented in this report in three sections.

Section 1 presents the voters' experience of the election. We examine Canadians' level of awareness of the election and the various options offered to them to cast their ballot. We look at the level of voter participation, the experience of youth and the challenges that electors may have faced in terms of registration, identification or accessibility.

Section 2 presents the experience of the candidates during the election. We look at the challenges they faced during the nomination process and in appointing official agents, and we evaluate their overall satisfaction with the support provided by Elections Canada.

Section 3 presents the conclusions drawn from our analysis of the agency's performance in administering the election. In particular, we explore the level of preparedness of Elections Canada to conduct the 41st general election, the quality of the voters lists and the registration process. We also look at the conduct of the actual vote and the management of polling sites, the use of technology and its impact, and the mechanisms used to address complaints.

The evaluations conducted following the 41st general election make it possible to improve the quality of services offered to Canadians. They are also used to develop recommendations on various administrative aspects. This report is thus one of many that the Chief Electoral Officer will present to Parliament in due course with a view to improving the administration of the Canada Elections Act.


Footnote 1 Information about the surveys, studies and post-mortems used to produce this evaluation report is provided in Appendix 1.