Electoral Office should implement online voter registration - Gildernew
Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has called on the Electoral Office to immediately implement online registration of voters and work to get tens of thousands of people back on the electoral register.
The Fermanagh South Tyrone MLA also called for the successful schools registration programme to be restarted.
Colm Gildernew said:
“Online registration was introduced in Britain a number of years ago and was supposed to be extended to the north. The legislation is on the statute book but so far there has been delay after unjustifiable delay.
“There are tens of thousands of people off the electoral register, with almost 60,000 in Belfast alone. This has created a huge democratic deficit.
“The right to vote was hard won in the north. Introducing the online system would make it more accessible to all people and enable them to exercise their right to vote.
“The Electoral Office should also restart the schools programme which didn't happen last year but which in any given year has the potential to get 10,000 young people on to the electoral register.
“The role of the Electoral Office is to facilitate people in exercising their right to vote and it should act immediately to cut the democratic deficit and make the registration process as easy as possible to ensure the maximum turnout possible.
“There can be no further delay. The Electoral Office must immediately implement online registration for voters in the interest of democracy.
“I have secured a meeting with the Chief Electoral Officer to ensure that these matters are addressed in the immediate future.”