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Summary of Findings and Action ItemsRetrospective Report on the 44th General Election of September 20, 2021

The health and safety of Canadians were protected when voting

Findings:

  • The changes to Elections Canada's procedures and communications products ensured that electors and election workers felt safe.
  • Collaboration was key to planning a safe election.

Action items:

  • Review and update health, safety and security procedures and tools—including protocols, instructions and comprehensive training packages—for both field and ECHQ staff.
  • Communicate early on about the convenience of voting by special ballot and provide more information on how to submit these ballots.
  • Leverage existing procurement vehicles through PHAC and PSPC to secure sufficient protective equipment and safety materials.

Electors have access to a variety of inclusive voting options that meet their needs

Findings:

  • Canadians had access to information on when, where and ways to vote during the pandemic.
  • Despite delays in some locations, Canadians remained satisfied with their voter experience.
  • Although Elections Canada was prepared to meet the increased demand for special ballot voting, electors who voted by mail had difficulties returning their ballot before the deadline.
  • Target groups continue to face barriers.
  • Voters were satisfied with services in their official language.

Action items:

  • Examine how the business process at the polls can be further streamlined on the basis of the "first come, first served" model, including introducing electronic voters lists at the polls.
  • Propose piloting of new voting processes or technology to address the accessibility issues raised by electors with visual impairments.
  • Review how the agency engages with Indigenous peoples to plan and deliver public education and election services for those wishing to participate in the electoral process.
  • Establish a Vote on Campus working group to consult and share information with stakeholders, including student groups and post-secondary institutions.
  • Develop a sustainable model for voting options for LTC facilities.

Political entities received the support and information they need to meet their requirements under the Canada Elections Act

Findings:

  • Candidates and parties remained satisfied with the overall quality of service they received from Elections Canada.
  • Third parties had the information they needed to meet the political financing requirements.

Action items:

  • Update political financing handbooks before the next general election.
  • Update political financing training materials and handbooks before the next general election.
  • Provide video instruction and training materials for candidates and political parties on various aspects of PESC for the nomination process and other election administration–related topics.
  • Promote the use of PESC among political entities to increase their use of it for political financing submissions.

Canadians have confidence in the integrity of the electoral process

Finding:

  • Canadians had confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.

Action items:

  • Develop tools to support engagement and communication with local law enforcement agencies to further develop relationships and ensure an effective response to security threats.

Returning officers are supported in the administration and delivery of the election

Findings:

  • Despite a range of measures in place to assist recruitment, it remains a major challenge.
  • Returning officers and election workers had the necessary training to perform their duties.

Action items:

  • Leverage technology to reduce the number of election workers required to deliver an election.
  • Promote the use of online training through various communication channels and explore options for increasing participation.
  • Create more in-person, hands-on learning opportunities for election administrators, particularly in combination with regional and local meetings that are already being planned. While the agency plans to continue to expand the range of online, self-paced learning assets, election administrators may benefit from close discussion and collaboration with more experienced staff.
  • Update returning officers' planning materials to ensure that returning officers are better informed about how to plan for splitting advance polls and adding extra deputy returning officers when they expect a high voter turnout.