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Breathnach says it’s a ‘shambles’ that many may miss out on vote in General Election

Breathnach says it’s a ‘shambles’ that many may miss out on vote in General Election
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Local TD Declan Breathnach has said it is a “shambles” that anyone who has registered to vote in the last eight months will not be automatically registered to vote in next month’s election and will have to register again.

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 date is after February 8th, the date of the forthcoming General Election.

This means that last year’s outdated register will be used for the upcoming General Election. Anyone who has registered in the last few months won’t be on the new register. To register again, these people would have to apply to be on the supplementary register.

Commenting on this Fianna Fáil TD Breathnach said: “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. They will have to register again, via the supplementary register.”

Fianna Fáil TD and Chair of the Publics Account Committee Deputy Sean Fleming had called on the government to resolve the issue by passing legislation to bring forward the date the register is updated but this was not done before the Dáil was 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. 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.”