Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (201)

Mick Barry


201. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage his views on extending eligibility to vote in elections to Dáil Éireann to persons resident here who are not Irish citizens; extending eligibility to vote in elections to the European Parliament to persons resident here who are not citizens of an EU member state; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2303/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Under Part II of the Electoral Act 1992, every person is entitled to be entered on the register of electors if that person:

- has reached the age of 18 years, and

- is ordinarily resident in a constituency in the State.

Subject to the age and residency requirements, a registered elector’s citizenship then determines the polls at which he or she is entitled to vote. Irish citizens alone are entitled to vote at all elections (i.e. local, European, Dáil, and presidential) and at referendums.

Under the Common Travel Area agreement, reciprocal arrangements are in place with regard to voting rights between Irish citizens resident in the United Kingdom and British citizens resident in Ireland. In this regard, British citizens resident in Ireland are also eligible to vote at elections to Dáil Éireann as well as at local elections.

Citizens of other Member States of the European Union may vote at European Parliament and local elections. Under European Union law, only citizens of the European Union have the right to vote (and stand for election) in European Parliament elections.

Non-EU citizens may vote at local elections only.

While electoral law is kept under ongoing review, I currently have no plans to change the existing arrangements in respect of voting rights.