Elections Canada: voting in veils allowed until law changes

September 10, 2007 23:56

The agency that oversees elections in Canada said Monday it cannot demand Muslim women to uncover their faces at polling stations if there is nothing in the law that requires it. Elections Canada said last week that Muslim women will be allowed to wear veils when they vote in by-elections later this month in Quebec, where the issue of the traditional covering has been hotly contested. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Sunday he "profoundly" disagreed with the decision and said a law had already been passed to ensure that does not happen. Elections Canada Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand said Monday he has no authority to read more into the law than what is there explicitly, but he must uphold the constitutional right of freedom of religion on behalf of voters.

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