Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (505)

Sandra McLellan


505. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will consider changing legislation to extend voting rights in Dáil Éireann, European and presidential elections to all persons of voting age who are legally resident in the country for at least five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22231/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

Subject to age and residency requirements, a registered elector’s citizenship determines the polls at which he or she is entitled to vote. Irish citizens alone are entitled to vote at all elections and referendums. EU citizens may vote at European Parliament and local elections; non-EU citizens may vote at local elections. In addition, British citizens are also eligible to vote at Dáil elections.

Under section 8 of the Electoral Act 1992, the Minister may by order provide for citizens of another EU Member State who are ordinarily resident in Ireland to be registered as Dáil electors on a reciprocal basis, where the Minister is satisfied that the Member State involved grants Irish citizens resident in that country the right to vote at parliamentary elections there on an equal basis with its own nationals. No such order has been made and I am not aware of any proposals to extend voting rights at parliamentary elections to Irish citizens resident in any other EU Member State. I have no proposals at present to change the existing arrangements.