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Voters with Indian Status cards turned away from polling station

Voters using a Certificate of Indian Status as proof of identity were turned away from a Vancouver-Mount Pleasant polling station earlier today, according to Jenny Kwan, incumbent NDP candidate in the riding.

Minutes before 11 a.m., Kwan's team noticed that voters identifying themselves with a Certificate of Indian Status at the Carnegie Centre polling station were being asked for an extra piece of ID in order to vote.

Elections BC was informed by Kwan's team, and 15 minutes later had a representative at the Carnegie to solve the impasse. No information was available on the number of people affected.

The issue was made public by the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) via Twitter.

To be able to vote, electors have to prove their identity and residential address. In order to do that, voters can use a single document issued by B.C. or Canada containing their name and address, two documents that together show the voter's identity and place of residence, or a Certificate of Indian Status.

The Certificate of Indian Status does not show a residential address.

On Twitter, former Tsawwassen First Nation chief Kim Baird said using the Certificate of Indian Status confuses people, and that is why she decided not to use it to vote in today's election.

Carlos Tello is completing a practicum at The Tyee.

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