“Millions of Canadians denied the right to vote in 2015 federal election”

My friend from law school Priya Sarin writes about two recent election law cases in a column posted on rabble.ca today: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2015/07/millions-canadians-denied-right-to-vote-2015-federal-election

I discussed the Voter ID case earlier on the DLB. With the federal election looming (speculation is that the writs may be issued as early as Sunday), it seems unlikely to me that an injunction will (or should) be granted at this point. I don’t think people fully appreciate the scope of the challenge faced by election authorities in pulling off an electoral event. Training materials and information guides need to be prepared and distributed well in advance of polling day. This is one of the reasons why we have section 554 of the Election Act (Canada), which allows the Chief Electoral Officer six months to make sure that Elections Canada is prepared to enact any changes to the electoral legislation.

I noted the Expatriate rights decision here but Priya examines it in more detail, with a particular focus on the dissenting opinion. Priya writes that the case is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada and I certainly would like to see how the court applies section 1 of the Charter to residency requirements. Provincial and territorial residency restrictions are much more exclusive than the federal ones, and while the recent attention has been on how some expatriates do not have the right to vote in the federal election, I have been wondering lately whether they are also concerned about not having the right to vote in a provincial or territorial election.

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