15/01/2020

General Election: FG Urged To Implement New Electoral Register

The Minister for Local Government is under pressure to bring forward the new Electoral Register and ensure thousands of new voters can have their say in next month's election.

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins signed the proclamation for the dissolution of the 32nd Dáil and summoned a new Dáil yesterday, Tuesday 14 January, after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced the general election.

Under current plans, the new electoral register will be published on 01 February and take effect after midnight on Friday 14, meaning newly registered voters would be unable to cast their vote on Saturday 08.

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin said the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD must utilise Section 18 of the Electoral Act to extend the ballot to the thousands who have applied for the new register.

"Fine Gael have created the mess with the electoral register and must now fix it," Deputy Howlin warned.

"There are thousands of people whose names are on the new register, but it still has draft status.

"The Minister has the power under law to resolve this. It is imperative that all local authorities are doing the same thing and the Minister has a responsibility to make sure they are."

Under Section 18 of the Electoral Act 1992, the Minister may issue to local authorities instruction to "order to ensure the smooth and efficient registration of electors and to secure uniformity of procedure in regard thereto in all registration areas."



(JG/CM)

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