Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Questions (207)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Question:

207. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the way temporary staff were hired to work as polling tellers and clerks for the upcoming Seanad and court of appeal referendums; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41330/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The primary role of my Department in electoral matters is to provide an appropriate policy and legislative framework for a modern and efficient electoral system. Within that framework, local returning officers are responsible for all matters in connection with the actual conduct of elections and referendums, including the selection, appointment and training of polling station and count staff in accordance with the relevant provisions of electoral law. My Department issues guidance to Returning Officers in advance of each election and referendum. The guidance emphasises that the smooth conduct of polls is dependent on maintaining a cadre of sufficiently skilled and experienced people. Having regard to that overall objective, returning officers are advised to employ competent and efficient persons as polling staff and asked to give consideration, where possible, to employing suitable persons who are unemployed, particularly for the position of polling clerk where the responsibilities of the post can be fulfilled under the guidance of the Presiding Officer.