Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1944)

Seán Fleming


1944. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the position regarding the eligibility of persons who are homeless for inclusion on the register of electors in order to participate in elections; the process and systems in place to allow persons to obtain polling cards for elections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35107/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

In order to vote at an election or a referendum a voter must be registered in the appropriate register of electors for that election or referendum. The Electoral Act 1992 provides for the registration of voters where they are ‘ordinarily resident’. Depending on the circumstances, the registration authority may consider it appropriate to register a homeless person at a particular hostel or hub where they are residing, either permanently or temporarily.

While the registration of all voters is a matter for the registration authorities, I would expect, in the circumstances, that they take a reasonable and common-sense approach to the inclusion of homeless persons in the register of electors.

Under electoral law, local returning officers are responsible at an election or a referendum for sending a polling information card to those whose name is on the register of electors. A polling information card does not confer a right to vote at an election or referendum nor is it required by a person in order to cast his or her vote. Provided a person is on the register of electors, he or she can vote.