‘Fair Elections Act’ Press Release

London Homeless Coalition

February 4, 2014

‘Fair Elections Act’ Will Disenfranchise Those Experiencing Homelessness

 Today the Conservative Government introduced the ‘Fair Elections Act’ which provides for a number of electoral reforms.  The London Homeless Coalition is extremely concerned regarding the elimination of the ‘vouching’ process whereby a registered voter could vouch for another who lacks government issued identification.  Unfortunately, many who experience homelessness are victims of theft or misplaced personal effects and find themselves without identification.  Those who deliver street level services put significant energies into vouching for their homeless clients during elections to ensure that the electoral process is open to all Canadians. It is the opinion of the London Homeless Coalition that this new Act will mean that many who have the right to vote as Canadian citizens will not be afforded the opportunity to do so, and that this disenfranchisement will fall disproportionately on those experiencing homelessness. We urge the Conservative Government to reconsider this provision in the Act.

Abe Oudshoorn, Chair

London Homeless Coalition

519-854-2085

aoudsho@uwo.ca

Twitter: @abeoudshoorn