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Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada on the 40th General Election of October 14, 2008

4. Conclusion

As custodian of our electoral process, Elections Canada strives to ensure that the process remains accessible to Canadians and political entities. This report provides an overview of our efforts in this regard and the challenges we faced in delivering the 40th general election. It remains, however, a preliminary assessment. Further evaluations are required to gain a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges, and to propose adjustments to the electoral process.

To streamline and focus its evaluation initiatives, Elections Canada has developed an evaluation framework for the 40th general election. The results will be of interest to parliamentarians and other key stakeholders. Evaluations will focus on key operational issues, including:

  • information technology infrastructure and telephony
  • communications and outreach
  • management of field workers and returning officers
  • voters lists
  • voters' experience of the election
  • voting field operations

Since the statutory report following a general election needs to be submitted within 90 days, it is not possible to integrate the findings of our evaluations, which take more time to complete.

Work on evaluations began during the 40th general election before the return of the writs. The evaluations will be completed over the winter and a report, including the resulting analysis, will be presented to parliamentarians in late spring 2009.

Appendix 2 gives a list of evaluations under the new framework.

This initiative is also in direct response to the Auditor General's 2005 recommendation that Elections Canada establish better linkages between the issues faced in the conduct of elections and the Chief Electoral Officer's eventual recommendations for legislative change.

The development of recommendations following a general election is a detailed and lengthy process. Elections Canada considers the views and feedback of parliamentarians and political entities, the evolving expectations of electors, and the results of its evaluations.

Our efforts to address the key issues outlined in this report as well as those identified in the evaluation initiatives mentioned here will be guided by our strategic objectives of trust, accessibility and engagement.