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Marjaleena Repo

A short lesson

A response to Zack Goldford's and Daniel Dickin's articles on voter ID, vouching, voter fraud and Bill C-23. The April 24 PAH articles by Zack Goldford and Daniel Dickin exhibit the same lack of awareness of how our voting system actually works, while fully endorsing the Conservative government’s proposals for drastic changes contained in Bill C-23. A short lesson is in order. In 2008, the Harper government introduced stringent new voter identification rules, requiring not just personal ID from the voter, but ID with a street address. A driver’s license with a street address is perfect, but not all adult Canadians drive — an estimated 30% don’t, a large chunk of them seniors. (Also, rural residents in many parts of Canada have a box number, a rural route or general delivery address, and these are NOT acceptable.) A non-driver must, therefore, rely on other voter ID. Elections Canada lists 25 acceptable “identity cards,” but most do not contain an address. (I have a wallet full of these cards, but none have my street address.) Then there are thirteen "original documents" with a street address that can be combined with the "identity cards" for proper identification, making up the famous “39 documents” (although they only add up to 38!) that Minister Pierre Poilievre so frequently refers to. These, however, are not easily available. With house bills in my name, I have several available from the “original document” category, and together with one document from the “identity card” section, I can vote, but I know many others who cannot provide even one from this essential second group. A few examples: Utility bill is usually in one person's name, so others of the household cannot use that; people with pre-paid cell phones have no phone bills. Bank/credit card statement is available for those… Read More