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Sinn Féin welcomes change in regulations for voting for asylum seekers and refugees

28 April, 2004

Sinn Féin has today welcomed the announcement by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Martin Cullen T.D. that he has signed regulations extending the list of documents that are acceptable as ID for voting to included the Temporary Registration certificate and Garda National Immigration Card.

Sinn Féin EU candidate for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald said

"Sinn Fein welcomes the Minister's announcement regarding the change in voting regulations. There were very serious concerns that a large number of people were going to be disenfranchised in the forthcoming elections because of the failure to include the Garda National Immigration photo card on the designated list of acceptable forms of identification. These concerns were raised in the Dáil by Deputies Aengus O Snodaigh T.D. and Arthur Morgan T.D.

"Sinn Fein would encourage all those who are entitled to vote to register and to use their vote in the forthcoming elections. We still have concerns that the requirement to have supplementary registration forms stamped by the Gardaí will act as a severe disincentive to many asylum seekers and refugees who will not feel comfortable going to a Garda station as a result of having experienced police persecution in their home countries. Sinn Féin will be seeking to amend the electoral laws to remove this requirement or at the very least to allow this to be done at the post office." ENDS

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