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Sinn Féin meets with Electoral Commission

6 April, 2011 - by Gerry Kelly, Jennifer McCann

A Sinn Féin delegation led by Gerry Kelly (North Belfast) this morning met with the Electoral Commission in Belfast to discuss issues of concern around the fact that three separate votes will be taking place at the same time on May 5th.
Mr Kelly was joined by Jennifer McCann (West Belfast), Mary Kate Quinn (Lagan Valley) and Niall Ó Donnghaile (East Belfast).
Speaking after the meeting Gerry said;
“We took the opportunity this morning to raise our concerns about the confusion that may be experienced as a result of three separate elections taking place on the same day. We have stressed with the Commission the importance of them getting their message out ahead of May 5th in a coherent fashion and in a way which is easy for the public to understand.
We stressed with them the need for the Electoral Office to make more staff available across the north should particular polling stations experience a rush of voters late in the evening.
Representatives of the Commission also stated that come 10:00pm and the close of polls, only those with ballot papers in their hand will be entitled to vote, even if someone is in a queue at 10:00pm under law you will not be in a position to cast your vote. This has obviously been an issue of serious concern in the past
Given the problems people had previously using forms of ID which were out of date voters should also be aware that this time around photographic ID such as driving licences or passports, even if they are out of date, are still valid forms of identification which will allow you to vote.
We are meeting with the Electoral Office in the coming days to raise our concerns and to work with them also on how best we can make this process as easy a process as possible for the electorate.” CRÍOCH

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