3. Voter Registration Services – Report on the 2022 By-election
National Register of Electors
Elections Canada maintains the National Register of Electors, a database of Canadians who are 18 years or older. The Register is regularly updated between and during elections, using administrative data received through agreements with federal, provincial and territorial agencies. Specifically, agreements are held with the Canada Revenue Agency; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; the Canadian Armed Forces; most provincial and territorial agencies responsible for driver licensing and vital statistics; and provincial and territorial electoral management bodies.
When an election is called, the agency uses data from the Register to produce the preliminary lists of electors, which are provided to returning officers and, upon request, to registered and eligible political parties and local confirmed candidates, as required by the Canada Elections Act.footnote viii The preliminary lists are also used to produce the VICs and as a basis for the revised lists of electors used at advance polls and the official lists of electors used on election day.
Coverage, currency and accuracy of the Register
The quality of the information held in the Register is key to ensuring that all electors receive a VIC at their current address. It is also important to political parties and candidates wanting to engage with electors. Quality is a function of three factors: coverage, currency and accuracy.
Coverage is the proportion of eligible electors who are registered to vote. Historically, national coverage has varied between 91% and 96%. In the 2022 by-election, the coverage of the preliminary lists was 96.7%.
Currency is the proportion of eligible electors who are registered at their current address. Historically, the national currency has varied between 82% and 90%. In the 2022 by-election, the currency of the preliminary lists was 92.5%.
Accuracy is the proportion of registered electors who are listed at their current address. These electors are correctly registered and can vote without taking extra steps. Accuracy is calculated by dividing the currency estimates by the coverage estimates. Historically, national accuracy has varied between 88% and 93%. In the 2022 by-election, the accuracy of the preliminary lists was 95.6%.
Many factors may affect the quality of the lists, including demographic changes and the timely availability of data. The occurrence of these factors varies by region. However, revision activities carried out by returning officers and through online registration in the weeks before election day aim to improve the quality of the lists.
The revision period began on November 7, 2022 for the Mississauga–Lakeshore by-election and ended at 6:00 p.m. on December 6, 2022. In accordance with the Canada Elections Act,footnote ix no elector was entitled to vote at the by-election unless their place of ordinary residence was located in the electoral district of Mississauga–Lakeshore from November 7, 2022, until polling day.
The table below details the number of electors on the preliminary lists of electors and the changes made to the lists during the revision period for the 2022 by-election.
|Electors on preliminary lists (incl. Special Voting Rules)||Electors added1||Inter-electoral district address changes2||Moves within electoral district3||Other corrections4||Electors removed5||Special Voting Rules Group 1 updates6||Electors on final lists7|
1 Electors who did not appear on any lists of electors at the beginning of the by-election and were added during the by-election.
2 Electors who appeared on the lists of electors of an electoral district other than Mississauga–Lakeshore at the beginning of the by-election but changed their address during the by-election because of a move to the electoral district of Mississauga–Lakeshore.
3 Electors who appeared on the lists of electors for Mississauga–Lakeshore at the beginning of the by-election and changed their address during the by-election because of a move to another polling division in the same electoral district. These figures also include administrative changes that the returning officer made to elector records during the by-election.
4 Electors who appeared on a list of electors and requested a correction to an error in their name or mailing address during the by-election.
5 Electors who appeared on a list of electors but were removed for one of the following reasons: the elector is deceased, the elector requested to be removed, the elector was no longer resident at that address or was not qualified to be on the list (for example, less than 18 years old or a non-citizen). Figures also reflect elector records removed as a result of a move to another electoral district during the by-election and duplicate records removed during the by-election, including during the preparation of the final lists of electors.
6 This row indicates a change in the number of Group 1 electors registered under the Special Voting Rules (Canadian electors temporarily residing outside Canada, Canadian Forces electors and incarcerated electors) during the by-election.
7 The total number of electors on the final lists is the sum of electors on the preliminary lists of electors, electors added, electors with inter-electoral district address changes and Special Voting Rules Group 1 updates, minus removed records.
Return to source of footnote viii Canada Elections Act, https://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-2.01/index.html
Return to source of footnote ix Canada Elections Act, https://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-2.01/index.html