Voting in Disguise in Quebec
The province of Quebec has decided there’s no problem with allowing women to vote while wearing full-body disguises: Veiled Muslim women will be permitted to vote. (Hat tip: Ethel.)
Muslim women wearing the niqab or burka - veils that hide the face entirely - will be allowed to vote in the Quebec elections, without showing their face. That’s the directive from the Director general of elections, despite the fact it goes against the electoral law. Typically a voter is to present photo-I.D. But women wearing a full-face veil will have to either swear that they are who they say they are - or have an adult with them verifying their identity. But Sarah Elgazar, from the Canadian Council on American Islamic Relations, says it’s an interesting directive, but not necessary. She says very few women wear niqabs or burkas in Quebec, adding they’re used to having to reveal their faces at banks, for example, provided it’s in front of a woman.
UPDATE at 3/23/07 11:14:35 am:
Montrealers aren’t happy with this. The official in charge of elections has been receiving threats over his decision. (Hat tip: keefe.)
MONTREAL (CP) - Quebec’s chief returning officer now has two bodyguards as a result of a decision to allow Muslim women to vote in Monday’s election without showing their faces.
A spokeswoman for returning officer Marcel Blanchet also says Elections Quebec has received threatening phone calls. The spokeswoman says Elections Quebec will have more to say on the issue later Friday.