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Youth Wings Unite to Demand a Weekend Election

21 April, 2007

The youth wings of all the state’s main political parties are calling jointly for the government to commit to weekend voting in the interest of guaranteeing and promoting students’ and other young people’s right to vote.   We believe that the holding of a ballot on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, is one of the best methods by which to guarantee the maximum participation of Irish youth in the upcoming election, their most crucial of civic rights and responsibilities.   The relevant arguments have been discussed at length recently, but we maintain that the statistical evidence indicates that weekend voting, especially Saturday voting, has led to increased turn out. In respect to students in particular, there is an added need to ensure that their special difficulties at the end of the college term, including exam pressures, post graduation and summer planning, and accommodation concerns, do not prevent them from participating in the ballot.   We issue this call not in the spirit of partisan interest, but rather the interests of Irish students and young people. We welcome any initiative to increase youth participation in the political process and sincerely hope that the wishes of Ireland’s youth are given the due consideration in this matter.   In the event that the election is not held on the weekend, we urge all students to apply as soon as possible to their local authority to get on the postal voter register so as to guarantee their ability to vote on election day.   Yours,   Elizabeth Munnelly, President, Young Fine Gael Lorcan Price, Leas Cathaoirleach, Ógra Fianna Fáil Abey Campbell, Chair, Young Progressive Democrats Barry McColgan, National Organiser, Ógra Shinn Féin Patrick Nulty, Chair, Labour Youth Edward Davitt, Chair, Young Greens

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