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Begley concern at ‘unjustified’ barriers to postal and proxy votes

18 April, 2018

Sinn Féin candidate in the West Tyrone by-election, Órfhlaith Begley has expressed concern that the Electoral Office may be adding unfair and unjustified barriers to prevent people exercising their right to secure postal and proxy votes.

Órfhlaith Begley was commenting after voters who applied for postal votes in the May 3rd election received correspondence from the Electoral Office seeking detailed information on their work and travel arrangements.

“I am aware of a number of constituents who applied for postal and proxy votes because they will be away working on polling day,” she commented.

“In some cases, they have been asked to provide detailed information about their hours of work and how they are travelling there. It is entirely unreasonable to expect someone to be back in West Tyrone in time to vote if they have to travel from their workplace in Dublin and maybe don’t finish until 6pm.

 “Based on that correspondence, I am concerned that the Electoral Office are now attempting to add additional layers of bureaucracy that result in people losing their right to postal and proxy votes. If that is the case, it is completely unjustified and unacceptable.

“My election team will be seeking an urgent discussion with the Electoral Office and stressing that they should be seeking to assist people to exercise their democratic rights, not constantly looking for ever more elaborate ways of denying them the vote.”

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