Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney doesn’t believe in banning the burqa. But Mr. Kenney does think Canadians, Muslim or otherwise, should have to identify themselves visually when voting in federal elections. These comments emerged relating to Bill C-623, a private member’s bill from Conservative MP Steven Blaney. Bill C-623 mandates that “en elector shall have an uncovered face when the elector is proving his or her identity.” But it does not change the acceptable ways of proving one’s identity. One can still provide either a driver’s licence or health card (as long as it has your photograph, name and address on it), or “two pieces of identification authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer each of which establish the elector’s name and at least one of which establishes the elector’s address” — a hydro bill and a bank statement, for example.
MPs are trying to require voters to show both photo ID and their faces, so a poll worker can compare the former to the latter. However, it’s true that it’s illogical to worry about Muslim women hypothetically voting while veiled even as 250,000 people vote by mail, but that discrepancy already exists: We demand identification of people who vote in person, but not of those who vote by mail.

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