Archive - Harper Government Introduces Citizen Voting Act

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Ottawa, December 10, 2014 - Today, Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre introduced the Citizen Voting Act to help ensure everyone who votes is a Canadian citizen and to require voters living abroad to follow the ID rules set out in the Fair Elections Act. The bill will fill the void created in the aftermath of the Ontario Superior Court decision (Frank et al. v. Attorney General of Canada) which struck down the previous rules on voting in Canadian elections while living abroad.

  • The Frank ruling could lead to an estimated 1.4 million new eligible voters who would not be subject to ID rules that other Canadians must follow.
  • The rules for voting from abroad have not been updated since 1993.
  • Elections Canada estimates that there are roughly 40,000 non-citizens wrongly on the voters list.

Quick Facts

The Citizen Voting Act will:

  • Ensure only Canadian citizens vote in federal elections, by:
    • requiring proof of citizenship from everyone voting in Canadian elections while abroad (except Canadian Forces);
    • allowing the Chief Electoral Officer to cross reference Citizenship and Immigration data to remove non-citizens from the voters list. 
  • Put an end to the possibility of “riding shopping”, by ensuring that non-residents can only receive a ballot for the Canadian address at which they last resided.
  • Apply the voter identification rules to all Canadians. Under the Fair Elections Act, Canadians living inside the country must prove who they are and where they live. 87% of Canadians support this requirement, according to an Ipsos Reid poll. The Citizen Voting Act will require voters residing abroad to prove their identity and their most recent Canadian address the same way everyone else in Canada does under the Fair Elections Act rules.
  • Create one set of rules for voting from outside of Canada. The Citizen Voting Act will mean that those voting while abroad – whether temporarily on vacation or living permanently away – will need to apply for a ballot in the same way following the same rules. 


“The Citizen Voting Act will help ensure that only citizens vote, that their votes only count in their home ridings and that they show ID to prove both.”

– Minister of State for Democratic Reform, Pierre Poilievre

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For further information (media only):

Gabrielle Renaud-Mattey
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Democratic Reform)
(613) 943-1835