Things could get ugly when the polls open on Election Day, 2015. Stephen Maher writes:
When Elections Canada mails out Voter Information Cards this fall, a new sentence in bold letters will appear at the bottom: Please note that this card is not a piece of ID.
This means that on election day, tens of thousands of people will likely turn up at their polling station, voter cards in hand, only to learn that they can’t vote.
In the last election, 400,000 Canadians used these cards to identify themselves. Another 120,171 had someone, usually a neighbour or relative, vouch for their identity.
This time there will be none of that, thanks to the Fair Elections Act passed by the Conservative government last year.
It's not that this problem was unforeseen. Harry Nuefeld, an expert on Canadian elections, warned the Conservatives that there would be problems:
“It can be anticipated that many tens of thousands of otherwise fully qualified voters will simply be unable to meet the new attestation-of-residence requirements,” he writes. "During my 33 years of election administration … my observation is that voting fraud which involves persons deciding to impersonate someone else, or find some other creative way to vote more than once, is extremely rare in this country.”
But Pierre Poilievre, the minister responsible for ramming the "Fair" Elections Act through Parliament, would have none of it. There was potential fraud everywhere, he claimed. What he didn't say was that he and his party know that the majority of Canadians don't buy what he and they are selling. The only way to stay in power is to make sure that the majority of Canadians don't get to the polls.