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Canada To Reform Law Banning Election-Day Tweets

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, January 13 2012

A Canadian minister tweeted today that the Canadian government will be introducing legislation to lift a ban that penalized Canadians who reported on election results before all the polls had closed in the west of the country, the Globe and Mail reported.

The ban had been challenged by citizens in a recent election because of how out of touch it seemed with the Internet age. Today, Tim Uppal, the minister of state for democratic reform, tweeted: "The ban, [enacted] in 1938, does not make sense with widespread use of social media and modern communications technology. Canadians should have freedom to communicate about election results without fear of heavy penalty.”

As the Globe and Mail reported, the law had initially been enacted to prevent voters in the west from being influenced by reports of election results in the East. According to CBC, Uppal credited in part blogger Paul Bryan with helping to end the ban, who published election results in 2000 and fought a fine all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court.