Via Talk Left:
Canada has no equivalent restriction on voting.
1.15 Right to Vote of Inmates Serving Sentences of Two Years or More
Sections 246 and 247 of theCanada Elections Act, which set out the process for voting in provincial correctional institutions, should be amended to provide a similar process for voting in federal institutions. This would ensure the existence of a process through which prisoners serving a sentence of two years or more might exercise their right to vote, pending a legislative response to the striking down of paragraph 4(c) by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2002.
Sections 246 and 247 of the Act set out the process whereby persons incarcerated in provincial correctional institutions can exercise their right to vote, by means of a special ballot. The Act provides no similar process for persons incarcerated in a federal penitentiary, because the current wording of those provisions reflects the prohibition in paragraph 4(c) of the Act that directs that every person who is imprisoned in a correctional institution and serving a sentence of two years or more is ineligible to vote. Prisoners serving sentences of two years or more are generally incarcerated in federal institutions.16 However, paragraph 4(c) was struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2002 in its decision inSauvé v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer).17 As a result, all persons who are otherwise eligible to vote in a federal election are entitled to vote, regardless of the length of their sentence of incarceration.
In every by-election and general election since the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Sauvé, the Chief Electoral Officer has used his authority under section 17 of the Act to adapt sections 246 and 247 to provide a process for voting by individuals incarcerated in federal penitentiaries.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto