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Justice Lynn Smith of the B.C. Supreme Court has ruled that amendments to the Canada Elections Act in 2007 infringe on the charter right to vote, but the infringement is justifiable. Voters will still need to show ID when they cast ballots. ((Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press))

A B.C. court has upheld a contentious federal law that requires voters to show identification and provide proof of their address to cast their ballots.

Justice Lynn Smith of the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that amendments to the Canada Elections Act in 2007 do infringe on the charter right to vote, but the infringement is justifiable.

Three people challenged the law, including anti-poverty advocates and a woman who said it prevented her from taking part in the 2008 federal election.

The plaintiffs, along with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, argued the law makes it more difficult to vote, particularly for homeless people, and there is little evidence to suggest there was a voter fraud problem to start with.

In her written judgment, Smith agreed the law will affect the ability of some voters to cast their ballots but said for most people, it presents a "minor inconvenience."

Smith said the inconvenience is justifiable to further reduce the already low rate of voter fraud and maintain confidence in the electoral system.