Dunne calls for electoral register overhaul

Cllr Davy Dunne of Sinn Féin as called for an overhaul of the electoral register, after receiving a number of complaints from constituents about young people not being registered, and about the names of numerous deceased persons being repeatedly included. He was speaking during another visit to Carrick-on-Suir by Sinn Féin’s Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris.

Dunne calls for electoral register overhaul

Cllr Davy Dunne of Sinn Féin

Cllr Dunne said: “Parents have contacted me and asked why their sons and daughters weren’t on the register. I have also been contacted by people who said their deceased spouses and partners remain on the register, years after their passing.”

As the electoral register is the bedrock upon which our electoral system is built, we cannot underestimate the importance of it’s accuracy. Year after year, and election after election we hear these complaints. Because of this, people are resigned to nothing being done. I spoke with one presiding officer who said he was aware of deceased persons being on the register for anything up to 15 years. This is a situation ripe for abuse, and is a national problem.”

It’s long overdue that we take this problem on, and devise a better means of registering and maintaining the register. I suggest that the use of the PPS number of the individual be used as the basis for automatic inclusion in the register, as the date of birth is known from that and would enable automatic registration on age 18.”

I’ll go further and say that the function of the register should be taken from the Council, and given to an existing trusted national body. The ideal candidate is An Post.”

Through it’s workers An Post already knows the location of each house, and person in it. They are ideally situated to be able to assist updating the register, as they know about who’s moved in or out of an area. They already have a database of people and properties.”

In an era when we have on-going State abandonment of the countryside, it’s a good idea to add services to each local post-office and to retain those as hubs of community activity.”

I suspect that the traditional parties benefit from lower voter registration, and the lower voter turnout which results. Maybe they feel that if registering was too easy, every young person would do it and vote for change?”

This idea is workable because of it’s simplicity and the possibility of quick implementation. Such a change could be achieved in less than two years, as long as consultants aren’t brought in to create another privatised monster.”

This suggestion has great merit, as it could solve one of the on-going problems with democracy in this so-called ‘republic’, the difficulty of registering. Since the problem is a national one, it deserves national attention.”

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