The Ontario government is taking steps to make it easier for people to vote, become candidates, and protect provincial elections against outside influence and interference, according to a press release issued on Thursday. The Protecting Ontario Elections Act, 2021 would guard against threats such as the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, under-regulated third party advertising, irregular campaign spending, and collusion. Attorney General Doug Downey said in the press release that Ontario voters should determine election outcomes, not third parties. “That’s why we are proposing legislative action to protect Ontarians’ essential voice in campaigns and to make it easier to cast a vote safely in an advance poll or on election day,” said Downey. “These amendments would help modernize Ontario’s electoral process and ensure it is updated to meet urgent challenges, including COVID-19.” These reforms will build on the Election Finances Statute Law Amendment Act that was passed by the Ontario government in 2016.