Election Security
With electors casting their votes orally, intimidation and bullying were once commonplace. Election violence claimed at least 20 lives before Confederation, prompting the need for protection from the army or police, as in this scene in Montreal in 1860.

Past A History of the Vote in CanadaPresent Federal Elections TodayFuture The Future is in Your Hands
British North America (1758-1866)From a Privilege to a Right (1867-1919)The Modern Franchise (1920-1997)
Responsible GovernmentThe Right to Vote is JeopardizedVoters and Confederation

Making Sure the Right Candidates Win
In 1840, Governor General Lord Sydenham organized the election that would be decisive for the union of Upper and Lower Canada. To make sure that candidates supporting the union were elected, he used all of his powers as governor, commander of the army and head of government. He offered or denied government jobs and provided or withheld the army’s protection to influence voters; purposefully rearranged electoral boundaries to improve his candidates’ chances; and generally made it difficult for opponents to vote, sometimes by sending gangs of ruffians to polling stations.

Such practices remained commonplace until 1920, when electoral administration was entrusted to an independent officer of Parliament, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada.

Elections CanadaIntroBuy the bookCreditsSelected readingsMenu
Link to the Social Progress Gallery Elections Canada/…lections Canada