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    Postal vote for overseas travellers, suggests report

    By Noreen Bowden | April 24, 2008

    Postal voting should be enhanced to accommodate those who are temporarily out of the country at election time, says an Oireachtas committee report on electoral procedures.

    The report, “The Future of the Electoral Register in Ireland and Related Matters”, was published yesterday. Produced by the Joint Committee on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, it is aimed at reforming the electoral register. It suggests the need for a single national commission to take over the electoral register from the 34 local authorities currently managing it. It also calls for the use of a PPS number instead of the current system, which is based on household address, as a way of eliminating duplicate registrations, fraud, and confusion over where individuals are registered.

    On the issue of voting from outside the country, the report says

    Improved measures should be introduced to facilitate people who are out of the country (holidays, work, etc) or where people are sick and cannot physically attend the polling station. Such new enhancements would need to take account of security and anti-fraud measures.

    The report calls for legislation to be drafted to “[e]stablish a more comprehensive postal voting for system for people who cannot attend polling stations”.

    Currently, the postal vote is reserved for members of the Defence Forces, the Garda Siochana, and Irish diplomats posted overseas, and their spouses. Sick and disabled people who cannot get to the polling station, and students studying away from home may also vote by post.

    Why is this of interest to emigrants? Because the development of a postal vote that can be used by overseas travellers may normalise the phenomenon of voting from abroad, while establishing the infrastructure that may at some time in the future be used to allow emigrants to vote.

    So it’s a step that would be of interest to those who would support emigrant voting rights, although there is no movement yet toward widening out the franchise beyond those who are ordinarily resident in the state.

    See the full report on the Oireachtas website.

    Topics: Latest News, voting rights | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses to “Postal vote for overseas travellers, suggests report”

    1. Joanna Sheridan Says:
      October 2nd, 2009 at 1:15 am

      I would like to be able to vote while I am traveling this year!!

    2. Calls grow for election votes for Irish abroad | Race to the Dail Says:
      January 6th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      [...] when the same committee advocated “improved measures” to facilitate Irish citizens who were out of the country on voting [...]