Outraged Canadian voters are calling attention to the niqab issue which has dominated much of the election debate. Their outrage comes from the Federal Court’s decision which allowed a Muslim woman to take the oath of citizenship with her face completely covered by the niqab – a full-body Islamic veil with just a slit for the eyes, after she sued the Canadian government while still a permanent resident of Canada, and won.
To protest the outrageous and offensive decision which an overwhelming majority of Canadians, including 93% of Quebeckers, view as a slap in the face, voters from across the country started to show up to vote in advance polls this weekend with their faces completely covered, and insisted that they too must be allowed to cast their ballots without removing their face cover, just like the Muslim woman who fought for her right to remain veiled while reciting the citizenship oath.
One man from Dorval, Quebec,showed up to vote in a clown costume and claimed he was able to vote without removing his mask. He said that instead of being asked to remove his mask, an officer asked him to take an oath to confirm his identity. Another person showed up wearing a potato sack on his head. And yet another covered his face with a Quebec flag.
On September 30, 2015, therebel.media decided to test the voting system’s absurdity and sent reporter David Menzies, a 6 foot tall man, to vote at the Elections Canada office in Richmond Hill, Ontario while wearing a full Muslim niqab and a hidden camera. Menzies was given only three instructions: (a) don’t take off the niqab; (b) don’t lie; and (c) keep the camera rolling.
On arriving at the polling station, Menzies announced to the official that he would like to vote and shockingly the officer told him that he can either remove his face covering so that he can be identified, or he can swear an oath that he is the person on his identification papers. In other words, any person – including permanent refugees and illegal immigrants (who are not allowed to vote in Canadian elections) can go to the polling station completely covered and do nothing more than simply swear that he or she is the person in the photo ID.
Elections Canada official website lists the following rule for people who wish to vote with their faces covered: “If the elector does not wish to remove their face covering, the deputy returning officer will advise the elector that they must provide two pieces of authorized identification, one proving their identity and the other proving their identity and address, and then take an oath attesting to their eligibility to vote. If the elector agrees to provide the identification and take the oath, the election officer will follow regular voting procedures.”