Asylum seeker not eligible to vote receives voter registration card

The letter, dated Sept. 12, 2018 and addressed to Jacqueline, a woman who arrived in Canada in the spring of 2017, informs her that she is “not currently registered to vote in federal elections.”

The letter urges her to register by Oct. 23, 2018, stating that, “registering in advance will ensure you’re on the voters list and will save you time at the polls.”

It is not clear how Jacqueline ended up on an Elections Canada list. The Sun has chosen not to identify Jacqueline’s last name as her refugee case is pending and public identification can put the outcome of such cases at risk. Her and her husband are asylum seekers from Mexico, and have not yet received permanent immigration status in Canada.

Jacqueline’s husband said he was threatened and assaulted by members of a drug cartel, including a police officer. The Sun has chosen not to name him due to his pending refugee status and claims of threats to his life.

The couple fled to Canada and ended up in Western Canada, where the husband applied for a temporary work permit and has found a job working in the oil industry.

The couple’s refugee application is still pending; their case has yet to be presented to an Immigration and Refugee Board judge. If their application is accepted, they will become permanent residents and will have to wait at least three years before they can apply for Canadian citizenship, making them eligible to vote.

And yet, somehow, the woman ended up on a federal Elections Canada registration list.

“I don’t know where they got her information to begin with, but they sent her a registration card,” said Jacqueline’s husband, who was interviewed because his wife still struggles with English.