Rocky View County council has supported a push to beef up identification requirements, potentially in time for the county's Oct. 18 municipal election.
A notice of motion by councillors Crystal Kissel and Samanntha Wright was unanimously supported.
Once put in place, all those voting in county elections election will be required to:
- Provide one piece of government-issued photo identification clearly showing the voter’s name and current address, e.g. driver’s license; or
- Two pieces of identification, both of which must have the voter’s name, one of which must be government-issued and one of which must have the voter’s name and current address.
In the case of using two pieces of identification, the names on both pieces must match.
Also, a person who chooses to vouch for another elector must be able to prove their identity and address through the above-mentioned means. An individual can vouch for only one person, except in long-term care institutions.
Discussions centred upon whether the ID requirements would be bulletproof. Some question was raised as to whether the required ID would all have physical addresses of the voter.
Councillor Wright admitted it's not full proof but is better than the current system, where some voters arrive at the polls with minimal identification. Voting disputes in the recent Stateside election have also brought to light the benefit of having improved identification requirements.
"There's no way of capturing everything, we just think this brings it to a higher level, a better level of public trust," says Wright.
"Most people will use their driver's licence, and most people do have proper ID. It's just an additional layer, again not 100 per cent full proof, just an additional layer."
RVC administration will advise council on the timing, legal review, and feasibility for updating this bylaw within the provincially legislated timeframe for the 2021 election.
Like many other Alberta municipalities, the county doesn't produce a voters' list.