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Recommendations submitted to the Committee on Institutions aimed at improving the electoral process and protecting personal data held by political parties

28 May 2019

Categories: Institutional, Parties and other political entities

In an appearance before the National Assembly’s Committee on Institutions on May 27, Chief Electoral Officer Pierre Reid submitted a number of recommendations formulated by Élections Québec aimed at improving the electoral process and protecting voters’ personal data.

The following recommendations are aimed at ensuring that the electoral process remains efficient while meeting contemporary needs and realities:

  1. A total of six measures should be put in place with a view to improving the recruitment of election officers and the work they perform while also enhancing information geared towards voters. We would like to see the minimum age for hiring election officers lowered to 16. This measure, which has already been instituted elsewhere in Canada, would make it possible to meet staffing needs during election periods while also raising young people’s awareness of democracy and its importance.
  2. By-elections should be held on fixed dates, just like general elections. We propose that by-elections be held twice a year (spring/fall). Knowing dates in advance facilitates election planning and organization.
  3. Voters should be provided with a neutral and impartial showcase providing information on candidates and their electoral priorities and programs. Access to information is one of the key factors driving voter turnout.

Mr. Reid also reiterated Élections Québec’s proposal that political parties be subject to a personal information protection law. We recommend that a special commission look into this issue with a view to striking a fair balance between political parties’ desire to communicate with voters and voters’ expectations of privacy.

For further information on Élections Québec’s recommendations, watch the video of Mr. Reid’s appearance before the Committee on Institutions (available in French only).

For further details, please refer to the “Recommendations” section in Élections Québec’s 2017-2018 annual management report (available in French only).

To view Mr. Reid’s speech to the Committee on Institutions or to read a transcript of the discussions (in French only), please visit the National Assembly’s website.

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