It may be a surprise to you but in Ontario we do not require voters to prove their Canadian citizenship. Yes, I said it! It is no lie! As clearly stated voters “MUST” be Canadian, whether by birth or by becoming a Canadian citizen. However, what many people do not know is our voters list is based on trust alone. Elections Ontario does not have a process requiring individuals to prove their Canadian citizenship. In essence all a voter needs is ID, with a signature. Now do not tell me this is not true, because as a person who grew up in the Toronto area, I have personal accounts of people who voted, who should not have. What is more of a concern is the flawed voter’s list process. There are instances of people who, while moving or residing in different locations are actually able to voter once, twice and in one case 3 times. What should happen is a requirement for ALL voters to provide photo ID. However, even that type of system would not be perfect. This brings back the debate of a Canadian Photo ID card for all Canadian citizens. However, this is another debate, as I am sure the Libertarians and others who hate government intrusion will indicate that their rights are being violated. So tell me then, what is the fix? Where are the checks and balances?
I actually was at an advanced poll to vote. What was interesting is that I had five different locations I could go to. I do not understand why? I went through an extremely rigorous process to vote though. I gave my driver’s license to the elections officer at the front door. I was “thoroughly” inspected and told to verify my address (thought I was at the airport for a minute or maybe he liked my suit). I was then told to go to the yellow line. A person sitting at the desk beside the yellow tape reviewed my license and then me. Just in case I do not look the same, I guess? Or maybe they had nothing to do. I then went to the front desk and went through the same process again. That good! However, there is a slight problem. Since I had 5 locations to vote at I “assumed” that they would have some fancy computer system that checked to make sure that I did not go to another location. All they had me do was read a statement. Wow, a statement! How many people who read it actually understood it? What are the consequences of voting at another location? Now tell me, if I decided to go to another location, how do they determine which location was the proper vote? How do I invalidate my vote? What if I voted for various parties? Which location is the proper vote or are they all removed? Again, how do they know? How do they do that? The head of Elections Ontario said that the system is based on “trust”. Is that good enough? I was told that at another location, they only needed to see a “bill” with the name and an address on it to vote? Great security! I guess they were too busy to rigorously check out their identity. Is that good enough for you for a fair election in such an advanced country such as Canada? We are a “trust based society” so, no need to lock your doors. Leave your wallets and purses open for everyone to see. No one will do another illegal, trust me! THE VOTING SYSTEM IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED!
As a side issue, for years there have been instances of various parties going to various areas to bus in people to vote. I wonder are all of these votes legitimate? We, in Canada, like to go to other countries to help with the democratic process. If we want to hold up ourselves as the best model then we better start to fix our own system. We have AMEX, Visa and MasterCard’s connected to complex computer systems. We have GPS and can track were you are at any given moment. And “If we can get the caramel in a Caramilk bar then I am sure they can figure out a way to perfect the election process”. Don’t tell me the technology does not exist! I am starting to re-think the MMP referendum. I was in support of it, but we need to “fix” the system. I am not sure what the best system is, for the voting process, but the one we have definitely needs a major overhaul. Do you now understand why the U.S is so concerned about our lax security practices, when we hand out cards like they came from Cracker-jack boxes (loved that snack)? But I digress, that is another subject, isn’t it?
The GTA Patriot
I was actually thinking about this today, and I feel that there should be more identification requirements to vote. Sure, a Health Card or Driver’s Licence says who you are, but all citizens have either a) Birth Certificate, b) Citizenship Certificate or Card or c) Passport. I would like to see two pieces of ID required to vote, either one of the three I mentioned as well as a Health Card, Driver’s Licence or similar.
What’s more scary than people voting who shouldn’t be, however, is the fact that only one person was convicted of this.