Court re­fuses to stay fed­eral voter ID rule

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

TORONTO — Sus­pend­ing a sin­gle pro­vi­sion of the Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment’s new voter law with a fed­eral elec­tion only months away at most is just too risky, an On­tario judge ruled Fri­day. In his 25-page de­ci­sion, Su­pe­rior Court Jus­tice David Stinson re­fused to grant an in­junc­tion against the pro­vi­sion that strips the use of voter in­for­ma­tion cards as a form of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. “It is prob­lem­atic to change the rules for elec­tions at the last minute through the blunt in­stru­ment of ju­di­cial in­ter­ven­tion,” Stinson wrote. “Late changes in elec­tion rules run the risk of un­fair­ness or, at the very least, the per­cep­tion of un­fair­ness.” The Coun­cil of Cana­di­ans, Cana­dian Fed­er­a­tion of Stu­dents, and three vot­ers ar­gue parts of the Fair Elec­tions Act en­acted last year are un­con­sti­tu­tional. They main­tain that thou­sands of peo­ple could be dis­en­fran­chised by the new law. How­ever, be­cause the case can’t be re­solved be­fore the elec­tion — which must take place Oct. 17 at the latest — the ap­pli­cants asked Stinson to grant an in­junc­tion against the pro­vi­sion re­lated to us­ing the voter in­for­ma­tion card as ID.

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