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Sinn Féin welcome increase in younger people getting on the register

1 December, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay, the youngest MLA, has welcomed news today indicating an increase in the number of 17 years olds getting on the electoral register and said that this is a sign of young people's increasing desire to effect change within society.

Mr McKay said,

"This positive news comes as no surprise because when young people are mobilised to use such an important right as the one to vote there is a hunger there. This is a sign of young people's desire to effect change within society.

"Sinn Féin has encouraged Electoral Office for a number of years to get out amongst young people and encourage them to take up their right to vote as often many of our younger citizens were daunted and are not properly informed about how to get on the register. The schools initiative has clearly been a success and should be further developed.

"However, there are still some serious problems in relation to rolling registration and particularly people who have moved home or fallen off the register. British legislation removing the household registration option decimated the Electoral register over the last number of years particularly amongst young first time voters.

"There are concerns that despite this good work that the Electoral Office still not doing enough to facilitate people getting back on the register." ENDS

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