President of the Privy Council Dominic LeBlanc told Parliament yesterday that, because he found mail-in voting to be too challenging in 2019, mail-in voting should be made easier, and with less paper work, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
Elections Canada spokesperson Matthew McKenna said that electors currently will not be provided with a ballot kit if the elector "did not provide valid proof of identification and address with their application."
"This will be the first election in which those voting by mail from within their riding can apply online," said McKenna. "Previously this was only available to those who would be away from their riding or who lived abroad."
LeBlanc, however, said that mail-in requirements nearly made it too difficult for him to vote in 2019.
"We had to literally photocopy pieces of a driver's license and medicare card to show residency and mail it to my chief returning officer in my constituency at which point he returned by mail to me the voting kit," said LeBlanc.
"It struck me that if you were a senior citizen, and I was lucky that I had people that could help me get the paperwork done, I think we can collectively think of ways to make it more accessible but still secure," said LeBlanc.
Last election, Canada saw 49,545 mail-in votes. Elections Canada is gearing up to print and mail 5,000,000 ballots this year.
According to CTV News, the Liberal bill, titled Bill C-19, will also seek to "Improve access to mail-in voting, including installing ballot drop-off boxes at every polling place, and allowing for online receipts of mail-in ballots."
"Canadians deserve to have full confidence in their ability to exercise their democratic rights safely in these unprecedented times," a statement from Minister Dominic LeBlanc reads.
"This will ensure the health and safety of voters, election workers and all participants in Canada's electoral system. By introducing these temporary amendments, Elections Canada will be able to offer more ways for Canadians to vote during a pandemic. I look forward to working with my parliamentary colleagues to deliver our shared goal of a free, fair and safe election," LeBlanc continued.
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