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Safeguards in the Electoral Process

The federal electoral process is protected by many legal, procedural, and technology safeguards designed to help ensure its integrity.

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An election has integrity when it is carried out in a way that respects the law and procedures, includes an enforcement regime that imposes penalties for intentionally breaking the law, and respects the principles of electoral democracy. These principles include:

  • Equal representation: all qualified electors have an equal say in choosing their elected representatives; all electors who are eligible to vote can vote once at each federal election and by-election
  • Equal access: all electors have multiple ways to vote throughout the election period; voting locations are close by and have level access; services are available to help electors who face obstacles to voting
  • Transparency: the identity of those buying ads and those donating to political causes is known; political parties, candidates and third parties must report on how they raise and spend money
  • A level playing field: there are limits on donations, spending and partial refunds for campaign expenses to make it economically possible for all Canadians to run as candidates and participate in federal election campaigns