“Voting Integrity Call to Action”
THE FACTS on planned use of Tabulators
The Chief Elector Officer claims the purpose for use of Tabulators is to accommodate the Vote Anywhere Service:
· FACT: Over 36% of the total votes cast in the 2019 election were cast at the Advanced Polls (pg. 36 of Elections Alberta 2019 General Election Report V1).
· FACT: Vote Anywhere Service was well accommodated in the 2019 election using “electronic poll books and ballot-on-demand printers” (pg. 36 of Elections Alberta 2019 General Election Report V1). In other words, they did NOT need to use Tabulators in 2019.
· FACT: In the 2019 election, those voting at Advance Polls within their own region cast paper ballots in conventional ballot boxes (pg. 45 of Elections Alberta 2019 General Election Report V1).
· FACT: Those 36%+ of total ballots that are expected to be tallied by the Tabulators in the Advance Polls will NOT be subject to a hand count of the original paper ballots. The Advanced Voting Directive is very specific to say that the only thing that can be recounted is the ‘image file’ produced by the machine, making the saving of the paper ballots moot as they cannot be recounted according to the Directive (Advance Voting Directive, April 4 ’23, Item 39).
CONCLUSION: For the Advanced Polls, in order to maintain election integrity, the only option is to either use the same system for accommodating the Vote Anywhere Service as was used in 2019 or use Tabulators only to accommodate those using the Vote Anywhere Service.
THE FACTS on accommodating NO-ID Voting
The Chief Elector Officer claims in his letter “voter ID requirements have increased”, but in fact there has been no change in the provisions that specifically permit a person with no ID, to vote using the ‘vouching declaration’.
· FACT: 86% of those electors surveyed were supportive of identification being required at the polls with over 650 electors expressing concern that identification was not mandatory to vote (pg. 109 of 2019 General Election Report)
· FACT: In response, the only change in ID requirement is that for those who are already on the ‘Voters Roll’, and with a ‘Where-to-Vote’ card in hand, they must ALSO show photo ID to confirm their current address.
· FACT: In stark contrast, those NOT on the ‘Voters Roll’, and NOT having a ‘Where-to-Vote’ card and NOT having photo ID, are being enabled with multiple mechanisms to cast a vote including the ‘Vouching Declaration’ or any number of ‘Attestation Forms’ including one that can be signed by a landlord, caretaker, or property manager etc.
· FACT: There is no mention in the ‘Voucher Declaration’ or any of the ‘Attestation Forms’ of a requirement to be of age to vote (18 or above) or a Canadian Citizen, as is required by law (the Alberta Elections Act) to vote. Only a ‘current address’ with nothing to say about how long they have lived there!
CONCLUSION: The Chief Electoral Office did not respond meaningfully to the concerns of electors (the 86% asking that voter ID be required to vote). In addition, the Chief Elector Officer should add a requirement of being ‘of age to vote’ and ‘a Canadian Citizen’ to all forms no ID voting, in order to meaningfully ensure that only those who are truly eligible, are accommodated to vote.