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Doherty - Radical plan needed to reverse electoral register crisis

6 February, 2003

Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty MP today led a party delegation to meet with the Electoral Commission to discuss the serious shortfall in the Electoral Register. Speaking after the meeting Mr. Doherty said:

"It was reported this week by the Electoral Office that 18,000 people have been added to the register. This is a mere drop in the ocean when you consider that around 180,000 are missing.

"Sinn Féin have serious concerns about the ability of the Electoral Office to deal effectively with this matter. We need to see from the Commission and the Electoral Office serious, radical and detailed plans to bridge the massive gap between the numbers on the register and the numbers identified by the census returns.

"We also have concerns which we raised with the Commission today about the ability of the current system to deliver on the issue of photographic ID.

There are no indications that the system will be able to cope with demand and have the necessary ID issued before a May election.

"Sinn Féin will return to these matters when the party President Gerry Adams MP meets with the Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley on Monday morning."ENDS

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