Cross-border danger of losing votes
Cross-border danger of losing votes

Up to 20 per cent of the names on the current electoral register in the 26 Counties have been deleted as part of a review of the register.

Based on the returns provided by some of the larger local authorities, over 600,000 names have already been removed.

In Meath the proportion of deletions was closer to a third. There has been a net reduction in the number on the register from 126,000 to 102,000. An estimated 30,000 names were removed, while 11,500 were added.

In Louth 11,890 names were removed from the register of 88,443 voters. To date just 3,500 of these have been confirmed to have either moved or died.

However, 26-County Minister for the Environment Dick Roche has denied that a large number of people have been removed inappopriately.

“By the end of this process we expect that the number of people on the register will be 97 per cent of what the number should be, based on the 2006 census, which is 3.135 million people aged 18 plus.”

Those whose names have been removed from the register should have received written warnings to their addresses that unless they contacted their local authority their names would be deleted from the register.

The 26-County register can be checked online at

Meanwhile, a campaign is underway north of the border to ensure voters are not disenfranchised by a re-registration procedure.

Sinn Féin’s Mitchel McLaughlin has called on people to ensure that they have returned their registration forms after the latest figures released by the Electoral Office shows that nearly a quarter of all those on the previous Foyle register have failed to return their form.

“It is important that people get registered to vote and people who have not yet done so should get a form immediately and return it to the Electoral Office.

“The first new register will be printed on the beginning of December and to have your name on it you must register by Monday 13th November.

“If you are not on the register you will not be able to cast your vote in either an election or referendum.

The latest figures show that only 76% of people have returned their forms. Sinn Féin activists are currently embarked on a campaign to ensure that as many people as possible get on the register by going door to door.

“Although their will be opportunities each month to get on the register the easiest way is to return the forms posted out recently by the electoral office,” said McLaughlin.

“This will ensure that your right to vote will be safeguarded for the next ten years.”

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© 2006 Irish Republican News