Canada’s chief electoral officer advises against moving election date

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Canada’s chief electoral officer says voting day this fall should not be moved.

Election day can be no later than October 21 under federal law, which this year falls on the Jewish holiday known as Shemini Atzeret, meaning Orthodox Jews are not permitted to work, vote or campaign.

Elections Canada had been lobbied to change the date, but decided against it this close to an election, prompting a Federal Court challenge to the decision.

Last week, the court ordered chief electoral officer Stephane Perrault to take a closer look at the decision and balance the infringement on the charter rights of affected voters against the objectives of the election law.

Perrault wrote that Elections Canada will continue to do outreach to the Jewish community in affected ridings to find other ways to help them vote.

As things stand, Orthodox Jews reside mostly in 36 of 338 federal ridings, most of them in urban areas. -CINEWS

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