Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (40)

John Brady

Question:

40. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of review of the electoral registration process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44792/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

Following an initial consultation with local authorities on a set of policy proposals, I launched a public consultation on the electoral register modernisation project in December 2018. 187 submissions were received from a broad range of stakeholders and I intend to publish a report on the consultation very shortly.

The responses to the consultation are informing ongoing work in my Department on various options for the project, including:

- the development of a simplified standardised registration form;

- the introduction of a rolling national register;

- the use of unique identifiers such as PPSNs to avoid duplicates;

- the potential for data-sharing with other public bodies to further improve the quality of the register; and

- the provision of an optional online platform for individuals to update their details.

A separate project being undertaken by the Dublin local authorities - voter.ie - has, among other things, developed an online facility to enable Dublin electors to manage their information. My Department is currently working with the Dublin local authorities to arrange an independent evaluation of Voter.ie to assess its suitability for a national roll out.

A draft General Scheme of a Bill to give legislative effect to the proposals is currently being developed and I expect to bring that to Government by year-end.

There will be ongoing engagement with local authorities as the project progresses and further stakeholder consultation will take place on the development of specific proposals. Additional public awareness campaigns are also planned to keep people informed of progress.