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Sinn Féin launches state wide voter registration drive

31 August, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP and General Election Candidate Mary Lou McDonald has launched a state wide Sinn Féin campaign aimed at maximising the number of people registered to vote ahead of the completion of the overhaul of the electoral register. Joined at a press conference in Dublin this morning by Wexford candidate Cllr John Dwyer and Donegal South-West candidate Pearse Doherty, Ms. McDonald said it is crucially important that people make every effort to ensure they are on the electoral register ahead of next year's general election.

Launching an eye-catching poster and leaflet campaign Ms. McDonald said: "Sinn Féin welcomes the overhaul of the electoral register as it has been proven that there are serious inaccuracies with it as it currently stands. However we do have some very serious reservations about the manner with which the overhaul is taking place. Basically, each local authority has been left to its own devices and there has been little or no direction coming centrally from the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

"This has led to inconsistency throughout the state and there are concerns that many people may accidentally be omitted from the register. It is for this reason that Sinn Féin is launching this state wide voter registration drive. Our aim is to make people aware that this overhaul is going on, and to encourage them not only to ensure they are registered, but also to come out and vote in the next election. We will be placing a special emphasis on encouraging young people and new voters to get themselves onto the register.

"It is crucially important that people make every effort to ensure they are on the electoral register ahead of next year's general election. Traditionally it is young people and those from low income families and backgrounds that either don't register to vote, or simply don't come out on the day. Election turnouts generally range between fifty and sixty percent of the electorate and it is these people who make up the vast majority of those who do not turn out. Our campaign aims to wake this sleeping giant as it is these very people that get left behind or ignored when important decisions are being made by elected representatives.

"So our message is simple -- make your voice heard, register to vote, and of course vote Sinn Féin." ENDS

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