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McLaughlin calls for assurances over vote applications

8 April, 2004

Speaking on the last day for people to register for the forthcoming EU election Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin has called on the Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley to 'give public and categoric assurances that all of the forms entered before the deadline will be processed and those applying will receive their vote'.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Today marks the final date for those wishing to vote in the June elections to register. The debacle which the registration process has become since the introduction of the new legislation has been well documented. Up to 211,000 people have been disenfranchised.

"In the short term I am calling on the Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley to give a very clear public assurance that those individuals who have submitted their forms before today will have the application processed in time for the June election.

"I say this because in the Assembly election in November, many people entitled to vote who had submitted registration and ID forms did not receive their vote due to a bureaucratic bottleneck within the electoral office.

"In the period after June the whole issue of the legislation needs to be looked at again. Annual registration and other demands have proven to be a disaster for the electorate and for overall confidence in the political and democratic process.

"Sinn Féin will be continuing our campaign in conjunction with wider civic society to see the legislation amended and public confidence in the electoral process restored." ENDS

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