A previous round of Conservative voter identification rules enacted in 2007 effectively met Parliament’s need for electoral integrity without being too strict, federal lawyers argue in a brief to the Supreme Court. The attorney general’s submission to the country’s top court comes as the Harper government moves to further tighten voting restrictions under its controversial Fair Elections Act. The legislation – also known as Bill C-23 – marks the second time the Conservatives have moved on what they perceive to be an issue of voter fraud, and it comes while their first round of reforms is still being legally contested.
Three British Columbia voters, with the help of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, are seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court their constitutional challenge of the 2007 voter ID reforms.
The court has not yet decided whether it will hear the appeal.
Two lower courts found the identification reforms did constitute a Charter breach, but ruled the breach was justifiable because the rules were “minimally impairing.”
Federal lawyers say the top court should not revisit the case because it does not raise a matter of public importance.