Deputy Declan Breathnach.
Louth TD Declan Breathnach has said that anyone who has registered to vote in the last eight months will not be automatically registered to vote in the February 8th election and will have to register again. He is calling it “a shambles.”
The anomaly has arisen because the register of electors is officially updated every year on February 15th, a date fixed in law due to the Electoral Act 1992. This is date is after the General Election date.
This would mean that last year’s outdated register would be used for the upcoming General Election. Anyone who has registered in the last few months wouldn’t be on the new register. To register again, these people would have to apply to be on the supplementary register.
“It is an unacceptable situation that thousands of people who registered to vote months ago in the hope of voting in the upcoming General Election will not be on the electoral register” Breathnach said. “They will have to register again, via the supplementary register.”
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Fianna Fáil TD and Chair of the Publics Account Committee Deputy Sean Fleming has called on the government to resolve the issue by passing legislation to bring forward the date the register is updated. This would have to happen before the Dáil is dissolved.
Breathnach continued “Thousands of young people and other newly registered voters will now have to register again. It is good for democracy to have as many people on the register and I hope the Taoiseach considers this before he decides when the election is.
“In the absence of clarity, I have heard some Local Authorities may add new voters who registered for the 2020/1 register onto the supplementary register for an early February election.
“I hope all Local Authorities take this approach and I encourage people to contact the Franchise section of Louth County Council and Meath County Council if they are unsure if they are registered.”
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