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Sinn Féin meets British Minister to demand electoral registration change

16 June, 2004

A Sinn Féin delegation led by Party Chairperson Mitchel Mc Laughlin and Sean Clarke the Six- County Director of Elections met with British Direct Rule Minister, John Spellar this morning to demand change in Electoral Registration Legislation.

Mr Mc Laughlin said: „ The delegation impressed on Mr Spellar that the right to vote is a basic democratic right and the objective should be to facilitate the exercise of that right and to remove deliberate and other impediments to exercise that fundamental right.

It is now accepted that this restrictive legislation has discouraged hundreds of thousands of legitimate eligible voters from registering to vote. It is also an indisputable fact that successive Electoral Registers are being incrementally reduced.

The changes that we insisted are required included:

  • Voters staying on the Register for five years
  • Expansion of acceptable I.D. documents for voting purposes.
  • Registration forms available on-line, at Post Offices, Council Offices, Libraries, Advice Centres, schools, universities, colleges etc.

"Mr Spellar agreed that there is a problem that needs to be resolved, that he will consider our proposals and get back to us. " ENDS

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