Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How Many British Columbian's Will Gordon Campbell Disenfranchise?


Jody Paterson, activist and Victoria Times-Colonist columnist, figures the number is something like 170,000:

"Certainly some of the proposed changes to the (British Columbia) Election Act ought to give us pause, as they'll disenfranchise an estimated five per cent of potential voters -- some 170,000 people. The revised act prevents people from voting unless they have a home address and government-issued photo ID to prove it.

Obviously, those changes will be felt disproportionately by poor people: Those living on the streets; people who can't afford ID; people who change residences frequently......"

And before anybody tries to go all screamer on Ms. Paterson you might as well forget about it before you even begin.

Because she does her homework and in so doing demonstrates, unequivocally, that this has nothing whatsoever to do with 'fraud protection':

You could argue that requiring voters to have ID listing their current address is necessary to prevent fraud. But as the (2006-07) Elections B.C. annual report also points out, there's no fraud going on.

The agency combed through the 1.7 million votes cast in the 2005 election and deemed 44 worthy of more investigation.

But all they found when they took a deeper look were confused elderly people, mistakes by Elections B.C. staff and a few folks who were too sick to know they'd made a mistake.

"Elections B.C.'s conclusion is that there was no intention to vote fraudulently," concluded the report......


Given all that

We have a duty, as citizens who believe in participatory democracy, to to ask ourselves the following:


Why would Mr. Campbell want to keep poor people from voting?


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