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Electoral Office fail Derry Cityside voters

22 February, 2005

Sinn Féin Derry Cityside Councillor Peter Anderson has castigated the Electoral Office for what he described as its abject failure to assist Cityside voters in ensuring that they are able exercise their right to vote.

Councillor Anderson's comments came after the Electoral Office announced that its only Mobile Centre in Derry aimed at assisting voters to obtain Electoral Identity Cards would be held in Lisnagelvin Leisure Centre. Speaking after the announcement, Cllr Anderson said:

"In the Cityside electoral area almost 2,000 people who should be entitled to vote are not on the register. This situation has come about because of the changes in Electoral Law, all aimed at making it harder for people to obtain their vote. There are many people in the Cityside area who whilst on the register do not have the necessary forms of electoral identity to ensure that they can vote; yet the Electoral Office is making no provision to assist them.

"The Electoral Office needs to re-examine its decisions and roll out Mobile Centres across all the electoral areas in the City.

"Does the Electoral Office really believe that voters in the Cityside would feel safe travelling to Lisnagelvin given the number of attacks on Nationalists that have taken place in that area?

"If the Electoral Office is genuine about wanting to assist voters in obtaining Electoral Identity Cards then it should be in consultation with locally elected representatives and groups in all areas of the City seeking to find out how it can help ensure that everyone can claim their vote.

"If anyone out there needs assistance with registering or getting the necessary Electoral Identity Card then they could contact any Sinn Féin centre and assistance would be provided." ENDS

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