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Crowe calls for radical overhaul of electoral register

26 April, 2006

Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has reaffirmed Sinn Fein's support for a radical overhaul of the electoral register. Speaking in the Dáil this evening Deputy Crowe said, "Addressing the deficiencies in the register has clearly not been a priority for the Government to date."

He said, "I welcome the opportunity to reaffirm 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 able to vote.

"Sinn Féin is calling for the instigation of ongoing and systematic voter registration drives anchored by Local Authorities. They must be given the resources, including personnel, facilities and funds in order to carry out this vital work. Voter registration is best handled by local authorities. They have vital local knowledge.

"There also must be an increased emphasis on voter education. Voter education campaigns should place a particular emphasis on areas with low levels of registration and low voter turnout. Additional resources need to be put in place for the registeration of young people. It is a scandal that so many eligible young voters are not on the register.

"The deficiencies in the register have clearly not been a priority for this Government. Legislative changes by this Government have actually made it more difficult for people to get on the register. I am calling for a radical overhaul of the electoral register to give all potential voters an opportunity to use their vote in the next election." ENDS

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