Sinn Féin MP for Mid Ulster Francie Molloy has raised a series of concerns over the current electoral registration process with both the Electoral Commission and the Electoral office today in Stormont.
Mr Molloy said:
“The electoral registration process has begun again and the deadline for returning forms is the 27th of September. By returning the form it ensures that voters will remain on the register.
“However Sinn Féin have very serious concerns about the whole registration process.
“For instance 20% of forms that have been returned are ineligible due to the failure to tick the residency box, and the fact that to date only 300,000 forms have been returned out of over 1 million issued is cause for alarm.
"The failure to ensure the registration of young people in schools means that opportunities are being missed, despite the fact that such clinics have proved extremely beneficial in ensuring young people don’t lose out.
“The time frame is also a concern. With the deadline for returns being the 27th of this month delivery to all homes will not be completed by Electoral Office staff until the 21st allowing only six days for people to complete and return their forms.
“All of these issues have been raised directly with the both the Electoral Office and the Electoral commission today.
“Sinn Féin has stressed the importance of people remaining on the register and that the Electoral Office must do all in its power to ensure that this happens. We don’t believe that anyone should be removed from the register and certainly not this close to an election.
“There are very real possibilities that many will be disenfranchised and that this will further impact those who do not appear on the register in terms of availing of credit and mortgages services for example.
“I would urge everyone to complete their forms in full. Where they haven’t received the forms or have any difficulty in completing the people should call the Electoral Office or their local Sinn Féin office for advice and assistance.”