Register to vote again

Many people will not be registered to vote if the Electoral Office doesn’t publicise their current campaign, it has been claimed.

Upper Falls Councillor Michael Browne said that the Electoral Office’s current approach will do nothing to ensure that everyone entitled to a vote is registered.

“Representatives from the Electoral Office are currently working on a door to door registration process in West Belfast,” said Councillor Browne. “There are however a number of difficulties surrounding the current operation.”

Cllr Browne said that there has been no publicity advising people of the current registration drive and that people who registered during the last round of registration may believe that they remain registered.

“People need to be alerted to the fact that if they do not register to vote between now and October 15 then they will be excluded from new electoral registers, thereby losing their voting entitlement.”

The Sinn Féin councillor said that electoral staff are only carrying forms addressed to people who have previously registered. This means that provision is not made for first time voters or people who failed to register during the last round.

“Despite the probable requirement at the next election of photographic identification people are not being asked whether they are in need of ID or not. Considering that as many as 132,000 names had dropped from the last six county electoral register because of changes to the registration process one would have thought that the Electoral Office would have gone out of its way to do everything possible to maximise the numbers registering this time around.”

Journalist: Staff Reporter

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