Saskatchewan

Province backs down on First Nations voting

The Saskatchewan government says it will allow people who live on First Nations to present a form signed by their band chief as proof of address in the November provincial election.

The Saskatchewan government says it will allow people who live on First Nations to present a form signed by their band chief as proof of address in the November provincial election.

Many people who live on reserve do not have photo identification, so historically they have been allowed to present an attestation form signed by the chief or a chosen designate as proof of residence.

But in August, Justice Minister Don Morgan said it would not be allowed in the upcoming election. Morgan said it presented too large of an opportunity for fraud because people can be listed as band members on a reserve even if they do not live there.

The move caused an uproar, because people living in care homes and student residences were still allowed to vote if someone vouched for their address.

However, on Sunday, acting chief electoral officer David Wilke sent an email to the chief of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band saying the attestation form will be valid in next month's election.

The government says it will not fight that interpretation.

Voters using the attestation form must still present one other piece of identification.