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British government accused of deliberately trying to remove 70,000 names from the electoral register

14 November, 2005


Sinn Féin Director of Elections, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has accused the British government of deliberately trying to remove 70,000 names from the electoral register.

Mr Doherty said:

"The Electoral Office has confirmed that at least 70,000 people entitled to vote are to be removed from the electoral register due for publication in December."

"In the last few years there has been a huge decline in numbers of people registered to vote. This has arisen as a result of the introduction of new and restrictive procedures for registration. Just 8 months ago, in response to this decline in the electoral register the British Government announced that to maximise the numbers entitled to vote in the May elections 70,000 people who were earlier removed from the register would be placed back on it.

"It is therefore incomprehensible that the British Government are again in intent on removing these same people from the election register, and effectively denying them their right to vote in the next election."

"I have asked for an urgent meeting with the British Direct Rule Minister, David Hansen, on this issue. It must be addressed as a matter of urgency in advance of the publication of the new register which comes out next month. Everywhere else procedures are being introduced to make it easier to register for voting and cast a vote. It is unacceptable that different standards are being applied here." ENDS

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