How would you like your electoral reform?

New proposals from the chief electoral officer and the minister

In addition to testifying yesterday, Marc Mayrand presented the Procedure and House Affairs committee with an itemized list of the changes he would like to see made to the Fair Elections Act, with analysis and suggestions for amendment. Stephen Maher reviews some of those concerns and our own John Geddes focuses on two in particular.

For his part, Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre has sent the committee a letter (pdf) detailing four changes he thinks might be made.

Further complicating matters this morning is a new interview with Harry Neufeld, the veteran election administrator and author of the oft-cited Neufeld report, who quibbles with Mr. Poilievre’s reading of his report and questions the general fear of voter fraud.

Nevertheless, he said enduring “urban myths” abound about voter fraud. For decades, he’s heard stories about busloads of out-of-riding people arriving at polling stations to vote illegally or nefarious individuals scooping up dozens of discarded voter information cards in apartment building lobbies and using them to orchestrate illegal voting schemes…

“You hear it so often, I think some people believe it,” said Neufeld, who has 33 years of experience overseeing elections. “I don’t believe it. I’ve heard it from politicians and I’ve said to them, ‘Please, provide me some evidence’ … Never, never a  single shred of evidence has been provided.”

I went over some of these concerns here and again yesterday.

Meanwhile, on the political front, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has an op-ed in the Montreal Gazette. Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent had an op-ed in the Toronto Star on Wednesday.

See previously: Would the Fair Elections Act muzzle the chief electoral officer?, Is there a spending loophole in the Fair Elections Act?, The cases for and against vouching, How often are voter information cards being abused?, Preston Manning calls for the Fair Elections Act to be amended and The anecdotal, philosophical matter of the Fair Elections Act