British State Knocks 130,000 off Electoral Register in North of Ireland

D OC donaloc at peterquinn.com
Tue Dec 17 10:04:33 MST 2002


There has been some speculation about demographic change in the Six
Counties. It is clear that this is a factor working in favour of a unitary
outcome in Ireland - however, everyone must be clear of the need to build a
broad consensus for unity bringing on-board Protestants and the large
numbers of pro-Unionist Catholics.

While British voters may be allowed to vote in supermarkets and even bookies
offices, voters in the occupied six counties will be required to produce
photo identification, national insurance numbers and comply with handwriting
tests.

Clearly, there has been a political decision to withhold voting forms -
coverage in working-class urban areas (e.g. West Belfast) has been atrocious
and isolated farm communities have been missed out completely. Meanwhile it
was rumoured that DUP activists were going around Antrim with bundles of
voting forms themselves.

The Electoral Commission must be happy that they have seemingly hit
Republican and youth votes hardest. Many poorly educated people didn't fill
out the registration form correctly. Republicans are now focussing on
reversing this latest onslaught against our growing strength with a massive
registration campaign.

D.

full: http://sinnfein.ie/releases/02/pr021112c.html

Sinn Fein meet Electoral Commission
A Sinn Fein delegation today met with the Electoral Commission in Belfast to
discuss concerns at the large numbers of people across the North of Ireland
who have been left disenfranchised by their omission from last weeks newly
published electoral register.

...snip...

Mr Molloy said,

``We have today raised concerns regarding not only the flaws in the design
and operation of the new registration system and the result of some 130,000+
potential voters not returning registration forms but also the role of the
Electoral Commission in the raising of awareness of the new system. We are
particularly concerned that as well the large numbers of people not
returning forms that potentially large numbers of new voters may not have
received forms at all and therefore not had the opportunity to register.''

...snip...

``We believe that both the Electoral Office and the Electoral Commission,
who have a responsibility for voter awareness need to implement a
comprehensive publicity programme to address the imbalance and difficulties
caused by this legislation and people allow people their democratic right to
vote. We believe that the publicity campaign launched by the Electoral
Office and the Electoral Commission was wholly inadequate throughout the
registration process and that more use needs to be made of local publicity
outlets.''

snip... ``We believe that the Electoral Commission needs to develop a
focussed and determined campaign to facilitate the inclusion of young people
onto the new electoral register''


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