The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is condemning the Liberal government’s new provincial voter ID requirements for non-registered voters in Bill 42, the Election Amendment Act, 2008.
Bill 42 would require non-registered voters to produce identification with their name, residence and a photograph (i.e. a driver’s license) or two documents that have the prospective voter’s name including the person’s current residence.
BCCLA President Rob Holmes: “People have the right to vote, not residences. This bill is another kick at those who have nowhere to live. Not only are they homeless, the provincial government is disenfranchising them by the new voter ID requirement in Bill 42. Double shame on the government for this retrograde step.”
The current Elections Act allows those individuals who are not registered to produce to an election official two documents that confirm the person’s identity (including signature) and a solemn declaration regarding their place of residence.
Bill 42’s new voter ID requirements are being introduced at a time when British Columbia’s homeless population is significantly growing. In addition, the BCCLA is very concerned about a variety of other segments of the population who have difficulty obtaining adequate identification or who are transient including the elderly and post-secondary students.
The BCCLA endorses a model that would allow those with no identification to sign a statutory declaration attesting to their identity and residence to ensure that they could vote.
Rob Holmes, President 604-681-1310
Murray Mollard, Executive Director 604-630-9752