News & Media

Minister must act on Electoral Register concerns

13 January 2020

Statement by Jan O'Sullivan TD
Spokesperson on Housing & Local Government, Enterprise & Innovation

Labour spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Jan O'Sullivan TD has called on Minister Eoghan Murphy to act without delay to address the potential disenfranchisement of thousands of voters if a general election is called to take place before 15th February.

The Minister should clarify as quickly as possible if a change to the law is required, or if new registers will be automatically put onto the supplement in every local authority.

Deputy O'Sullivan said:

"As has been highlighted today anyone who registered to vote in recent months won't be added formally to the voting lists until 15th February when the new Electoral Register comes into effect. That means if an election is held before then they potentially won't be able to vote unless they join the supplement.

"Minister Eoghan Murphy who is responsible for the Electoral Acts could quickly resolve this through an administrative bill that I'm sure would pass the Dáil quickly on Wednesday with all party support providing legal certainty. Alternatively he should clarify at a national level that everyone who registered will be able to vote, and will be added to the supplementary register in their local authority.

"While some local authorities may roll over these recent registrations to the supplement there is no guarantee of that, and anyone wishing to join the supplement when an election is called can't do so yet, and it is more cumbersome to register on the supplement.

"If it is required, a simple solution could be passed quickly on Wednesday in the Dáil if the Minister agrees to act now. I hope he will do so if it is needed. Otherwise he should provide policy certainty to every Franchise Office."