Chief Electoral Officer says he’s confident anyone who wants to vote can do so

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand is crossing his fingers no one will be declared ineligible to vote on October 19th because of new identification requirements.

There have been concerns that the new Fair Elections Act will disproportionately disqualify residents on crowded reserves because it ends the practice of “vouching”: letting a properly identified voter vouch for the identity of someone lacking proper I-D.

The voter identification requirements in the new act insist on addresses.

Mayrand says there has been special outreach to Aboriginal communities to ensure bands provide official letters to members that attest to their residency.

Many Aboriginal groups opposed the Harper government’s changes, but Conservatives insist that anyone casting a ballot ought to show proper identification.

Mayrand says the agency has published election information in 15 different Aboriginal languages so people will know the requirements for casting a ballot.

But he says there is an onus on voters — Aboriginal and non-aboriginal — to ensure they are organized and prepared to vote.

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