ALBERTA

Gail Thorne, Calgary Woman, Votes In Ski Mask As Protest

10/13/2015 05:30 EDT | Updated 10/16/2015 10:59 EDT
Gail Thorne/YouTube Screengrab

A Calgary woman who says she voted while wearing a ski mask has posted a video about the experience to protest Elections Canada's rules.

Gail Thorne said in a YouTube video that she voted in an advance poll Calgary's Southwood United Church — while wearing a ski mask into the polling station, and "not an eyelash was batted." The video has since been removed from YouTube, but can still be viewed on Thorne's Facebook page.

In a YouTube video, she said, "Nobody said a word. I had a couple of thumbs up as I was going in."

Under Elections Canada's rules, a voter who wears a face covering to the poll is first asked to remove the covering by staff. If that's refused, then he or she must provide two pieces of authorized identification and swear an oath attesting to their eligibility to vote.

Thorne confirmed that she was asked for ID and to perform the oath — and that she kept the ski mask on throughout.

"I'm just blown away on how we're just bending over in the name of political correctness," Thorne said in the video that was recorded in her vehicle. "I literally could have been anybody."

She added: "Holy, Canada, this is just nuts. Really."

While Thorne says she provided photo ID in the form of her driver's licence, it is not required for voters — whether they show their face or not. Two pieces of non-photo ID are acceptable, as long as one shows the voter's current address.

Elections Canada says that in eight years, it hasn't had any complaints about the policy, and that if lawmakers didn't like it they could have changed it when the electoral reform bill went through in 2014.

One Newfoundland voter also voted in a mask during the advance polls, but for an entirely different reason.

Jon Keefe dressed up as a mummer to go vote, and asked other Newfoundland voters to do the same. Mummering is a Newfoundland tradition, where people wear odd costumes to visit their neighbours at Christmas.

"It seemed like a great way to work in the point that there are already a lot of cultural customs across Canada that might seem bizarre or unusual to people unfamiliar with them, but we've all managed to get along pretty well so far," said Keefe to CBC News, adding that he feels the niqab debate is a "manufactured non-issue."

The religious garment has become a focal point after Stephen Harper's Conservatives tried repeatedly to ban it during citizenship ceremonies.

The face-covering policy concerns only about 100 or 200 niqab-wearing women in Canada, according to Maclean's.

HuffPost reached has out to Thorne for comment.

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In Photos: Canada Election 2015