‘School voter registration programme should be reinstated’ – O’Neil
Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has called for the reintroduction of the schools programme for voter registration and said more must be done to advertise online registration.
Speaking after leading a party delegation, including Francie Molloy MP, Paul Maskey MP and Colm Gildernew MLA, to meet with the Electoral Office, the Mid Ulster MLA said:
“The current deficit on the electoral register is unacceptable. Large numbers of people are being robbed of their vote through incorrect registration at a time when major decisions are facing citizens in the coming weeks.
“Young people will bear the brunt of the reckless Tory-DUP Brexit, climate change and austerity. It’s vital that they have an opportunity to change the world around them.
“However, it’s extremely worrying that only 51% of people aged 18-34 are correctly registered and this comes on the heels of the scrapping of school registration programmes.
“We have told the Electoral Office it should urgently restart the schools programme which has the potential to get over 10,000 young people a year onto the register.
“We have urged them to provide more registration clinics in communities, particularly in rural settings and areas with low numbers of people on the electoral register and have called on them to advertise online registration more widely.
“The Electoral Office has a responsibility to address the democratic deficit and to ensure as many people as possible can access their fundamental right to vote.”