Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (492)

Pearse Doherty


492. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to improve the user-friendliness of the Check the Register website, including reducing sensitivities regarding the spelling of place names such as in circumstances where more than one English or Gaeilge version of an address exists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22558/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The preparation of the register of electors is a matter for local authorities in their areas. It is their duty, as far as possible and with the cooperation and engagement of the public, to ensure the accuracy and comprehensiveness of that register. The Check the Register facility reflects the information contained in each local authority’s register of electors and enables voters to check their details by reference to their address (street or townland, as appropriate) or, in many cases, by Eircode.

More generally, the Government determined in March 2017 that work should commence on modernisation of the voter registration process. The proposals currently under consideration include an optional online registration process in parallel with the existing paper based system, the creation of a unique identifier for individuals, simplification of the forms and processes, and data sharing between public bodies and electoral registration authorities to ensure accuracy and completeness. It is expected that the online facility will enable individuals to manage their own information, such as amending their address details.

A public consultation process on the modernisation process closed on 15 March 2019, at which stage some 187 submissions had been received from a range of individuals, public representatives, local authorities, political parties and community and voluntary and business organisations. These submissions are now being examined and details of the consultation are available on my Department's website at the following link: https://www.housing.gov.ie/public-consultation-proposals-modernise-electoral-registration-process.