Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Call for Electoral Commission to state view on current register

6 December, 2006

Sinn Féin National Director of Elections Pat Doherty MP today called on the head of the Electoral Commission in the six counties, Seamus Magee, to state clearly his view of the current electoral register and what action is necessary to ensure that those currently disenfranchised are given their right to vote.

Mr Doherty said:

"The latest electoral register published last week has so many missing electors that is it clearly not acceptable to proceed to an Assembly election on the basis of that document. Sinn Féin warned the British government and the electoral authorities that the decision to start compiling the new register from scratch would result in exactly this type of situation arising. Unfortunately they chose to ignore our warnings and have produced a deeply flawed register.

"What we are interested in now is seeking a speedy resolution to this latest electoral register disaster. In our view those missing from this register who were on the previous document should simply be rolled over in advance of any Assembly election. This is exactly what happened previously before the last Westminster and Local Government poll.

"Another provision which should be provided is for registration to take place up to 11 days before polling. This is what happens in other areas and there is no logical reason why the Electoral Office here cannot provide a similar service.

"Sinn Féin have already raised our concerns with both the British government and the Electoral Commission since the register was published. We intend to continue to engage with the British on this issue in ongoing talks. However it is important that the Electoral Commission make their position public both on the current state of the register and what remedies they are proposing to sort out this mess in advance of an Assembly poll." ENDS

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