Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin to meet Minister on Electoral Register

21 November, 2005

Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin and the party's six county Director of Elections Sean Begley will meet with the British Direct Rule Minister David Hansen in the morning. The meeting which is at Sinn Féin's request is to discuss what we believe will be the publication of yet another deeply flawed electoral register on December 1st.

Mr McLaughlin said:

" It is our view that we are currently facing into a real problem with the new register scheduled to be published on December 1st. It is clear that many thousands of people previously registered have not returned their forms in time to appear on the new register. This is in addition to 90,000 households who habitually do not return their form and those who have slipped off the register altogether because of the introduction of the new regulations a number of years ago. There is also a large group of people who do fill in their forms only to see them lost in the Electoral Office system.

" In an electoral area with a population of just over 1 million it does not take a genius to work out the impact on the democratic process if a register is produced with hundreds of thousands of voters missing as has become standard practice in recent years.

" In tomorrows meeting with the Minister David Hansen I will press him to take last May's register which was of course supplemented with a limited roll over from the previous year as the basis for the December 1st register. At least then we will have some sort of starting point to try and address the shortfall through rolling registration. It is also vital that the British government do not try and start from scratch again when the legislation changes in the spring for compiling next years document." ENDS

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