Mr. Pierre Reid, Chief Electoral Officer of Québec, appeared before a parliamentary committee on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, to give his opinion on Bill 29, Loi visant à faciliter le déroulement des prochaines élections générales au Québec (An Act to facilitate the conduct of future general elections in Québec).
One of the purposes of this bill is to make it easier for electors who are more at risk for COVID-19 to vote. Mr. Reid believes that the bill proposes minimal but adequate measures to ensure these electors’ safe exercise of the vote.
Reid wants to see this bill passed quickly so that all stakeholders involved, from the elector to the candidate, can get information about the new voting procedures that will be available for the general elections. This major democratic event, which will take place in the 125 electoral divisions of Québec, requires a great deal of preparation; in fact, the Élections Québec teams have already been at work for some time.
Remember that Bill 29 allows for offering voting by mail to certain clienteles to avoid the transmission of COVID-19 and the complications associated with it, i.e., individuals:
- who are in isolation as ordered or recommended by public health authorities;
- who, in the opinion of public health authorities, are at greater risk of developing complications from COVID-19 contamination due to their health status;
- who reside in a residential or long-term care centre or in a private seniors’ residence in which there was an outbreak;
- who are eligible to vote at home and are unable to travel for health reasons, as well as their informal caregiver, in the event of an outbreak in their domicile.
This bill is essential to allow everyone to vote, safely, in the changing environment of the COVID-19 pandemic.