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de Brún - Sinn Féin to make submission to NI Select Committee on right to vote

18 April, 2004


Sinn Féin Assembly member Bairbre de Brún has announced that the party will tomorrow meeting with the NI Select Affairs Committee and make both oral and written submissions into the operation of the current legislation under which elections in the six counties are fought.

Ms de Brún said:

"The basis of any fair electoral process has to be establishing peoples right to vote and ensuring that obstacles are not placed in the way of people wishing to exercise that right. Under the current legislation, under which elections in the six counties are being fought, the exact opposite is the case.

"Obstacles are being placed in the way of those wishing to register and obstacles are being placed in the way of those wishing to vote. The result of all of this has been that over 200,000 people are currently being denied their right to vote and it is predicted that this situation will get worse year after year if the legislation is not amended.

"Tomorrow Sinn Féin will make a submission to the NI Select Affairs Committee on this issue. It is crucial that they understand that public confidence in the operation of the electoral system is being eroded and this needs to be addressed urgently.

"We will be making a series of detailed recommendations around the issues of voter ID, annual registration and household registration. This meeting is the latest in a series of such meetings which we have held with the two governments, the electoral authorities, trade unions and civic society in our efforts to see this matter properly addressed and dealt with."ENDS

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