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Electoral Office is more concerned with denying people their right to vote than granting it

18 November, 2004

Rasharkin Sinn Féin Representative, Daithí McKay, has said that the processing of Electoral IDs by the Electoral Office is totally insufficient and it seems like those working with Electoral IDs are more concerned with denying people their right to vote than granting it. His comments follow a series of Electoral ID applications being rejected in the Rasharkin area due to 'poor photographic quality'.

Mr McKay said:

"For the past 2 years Sinn Féin activists in Rasharkin have done their utmost to make sure that local people in the town won't lose their right to vote and part of this has involved helping people to fill in their Electoral ID forms and obtaining passport-size photographs.

"It has now emerged that many of these applications have been returned because the photographs, which show a clear image of the applicant, aren't the same contrast as photos obtained from the chemist. Because these IDs are processed in England the Electoral Office insist that they will not be made accountable for ID rejections. This is unacceptable.

"Many people in this village, especially those with large families, cannot afford to fork out money for all this, and cannot travel to the Electoral Office or their photo-centres during the day because of work or travel restrictions. These obstacles placed in the way of local communities across the north are inexcusable and the Electoral Office must take measures to address them right away." ENDS

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