Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Canadian Election Laws: A Lot Like Wisconsin’s

Somebody voting who isn’t qualified to vote because of lax election laws.

Sounds like Wisconsin, right?

Well, it happens in Canada too.

Via our Canadian correspondent, the following from The Toronto Star:

Student investigated for voter fraud

American student, 21, exposed flaws of Elections Canada

Cast ballot using hydro bill and U of T card for identification

Mar. 21, 2006.

Elections Canada is coming down hard on an American student who tested voting rules and found they were too lax.

For his efforts, Peter Cunningham, 21, is now in hot water and under investigation by the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

In a Star article published on Jan. 25, the University of Toronto student, who’s from Michigan and in the country on an international student visa, said he was able to vote in the 2006 federal election because officials at the polling station never asked for proof of his citizenship or age. Under the Elections Canada Act, eligible voters must be Canadian citizens and 18 years old.

Cunningham wasn’t on the registered list of electors when he went to the poll in Trinity-Spadina. He said he was allowed to vote after presenting his student identification card and a hydro bill with his address that showed he lived in the riding.

In the article, Cunningham said his test proved that the rules for registration “are too lax,” and the potential for fraud “immense.”

The article doesn’t show any evidence of massive fraud.

But in Canada, as in Wisconsin, the suspicion of fraud and the temptation to fraud are problems worth fixing.


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