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Sinn Féin demand proactive registration drives and voter education initiatives

25 April, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Arthur Morgan T.D., speaking  in Leinster House today, reaffirmed Sinn Fein’s support for reform of the electoral register and for the instigation of proactive voter registration drives to ensure all eligible voters are registered and to ensure accuracy of the electoral register.       

Deputy Morgan said, “There has been a failure to ensure that the register is kept up to date and accurate. The absence of proactive registration drives and voter education initiatives has left many disenfranchised.  Sinn Féin is calling for the instigation of systematic voter registration drives anchored by local authorities.   We are calling for resources, including personnel, to be made available to local authorities to enable them carry out this work

“Sinn Féin does not support the introduction of a centralised voter registration system. In the Six Counties the introduction of a centralised system has resulted in the disenfranchisement of a substantial number of eligible voters.  Those living in disadvantaged areas have been particularly affected.  In 2004 the 6 county Electoral Commission estimated that 15% of people entitled to vote were not registered and accepted that levels of registration among potential first time voters was a real problem. We do not want to replicate these problems here by introducing such a system” ENDS

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