Will the Minister of State clarify for us the length of time a person is required to be in the State? The time of registering for ordinary citizens of the State is 15 September, and I take it is the same for non-citizens. If a person arrives in this State on 14 September is it possible for that person to be on the register on 15 April of the following year? I am concerned about the length of residence within the State of a non-citizen.
An Bille um an Naoú Leasú ar an mBunreacht, 1984: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna Deiridh. Ninth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1984: Committee and Final Stages.
There is no legal time during which a person must be resident before he goes on the register. The question is if he is ordinarily resident. If he appears in the country on 14 September and he puts his name down he can go on the register or, indeed, it can be appealed against. At the time of the hearings for registration of voters, somebody may object on that occasion and the deciding officer may or may not allow a voter to go on. These questions will be teased out when the electoral legislation is going through both Houses. This is only enabling both Houses of the Oireachtas to confer on non-citizens the right to vote. The actual mechanics will be matters for the Bill itself.
I am glad to hear the Minister say that because I am one public representative at least who has campaigned for many years to have the vote extended to non-citizens, particularly to the citizens of Great Britain. I would be concerned if people could come into this country and be on the register within a very brief period of taking up residence here. I am sure the Minister will take this into account when the legislation extending the vote to these people is going through the House.
I want to assure the Senator that I will.
Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.