Elections Canada is removing over 103,000 non-citizens on the national voters’ registry, but damage to the integrity of previous elections may have already occurred.
When speaking to a Senate committee, Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault said that the identified non-citizens will be removed off the list of eligible voters before the federal election in October, but could not be sure how many had voted in previous elections.
If these non-citizens are on the official list of eligible voters, it means that they could have received a voter identification card, which is now a legal form of voter identification.
“That is not something that we want obviously because it appears as an invitation to vote,” Perrault said.
While as many as 103,000 non-citizens would potentially vote without having earned the right, Perrault explained to the Senate that new technology and access to immigration and citizenship records will allow Elections Canada to do a better job of catching these mistakes in the future.
“We will have tools that we didn’t have in the past to monitor that,” he said. “We will be able to follow up after the election and check if people have attempted to vote or voted while being non-citizens.”
Despite a promise to do better, with a number so high, experts are concerned about the integrity of previous elections.
Over 40,000 non-citizens have been on the official voters’ list since 1997, Perrault says that is at least seven federal elections with thousands of non-citizens having access to voting information.
While some may be honest mistakes, there are many examples of Elections Canada giving non-citizens voting information without justification or explanation.
In October, True North founder Candice Malcolm reported on the story of a recent asylum seeker who received a voter registration card from Elections Canada telling her to register to vote ahead of this year’s election.
“She’s taking ESL classes, we haven’t even been in the country a year and a half, and the Liberals are sending a voter registration card,” her husband said.
While Elections Canada claims their procedures are thorough, there are no measures in place to stop non-citizens who end up on voter registration lists from voting.
Voters are not required to show proof of citizenship, nor are they asked if they are a legal citizen entitled to vote.
With the federal election only months away, many Canadians have reason to worry about voter fraud.