Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 30 Jun 1999

Vol. 507 No. 3

Written Answers. - Voter Turnout.

Liam Lawlor


158 Mr. Lawlor asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government his views on whether making the layout of ballot papers more prominent in pre-publicity and the placing of photographs of each candidate beside each name would assist voter turnout in view of the recent low turnouts for local and European elections and the unprecedented level of invalid ballot papers for the referendum; if he will re-examine possible means of providing a higher degree of pre-publicity for referenda while meeting the legal constraints set out in the McKenna judgment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16834/99]

There is a requirement under electoral law that a notice of poll is published stating the day and the hours during which the poll will be taken and the names and description of the candidates in the order in which they will appear on the ballot paper. Notices to this effect were published in national and local newspapers for the recent European and local elections and provided a measure of pre-election publicity for the polls. However, I will keep this matter under examination in the Department. The question of including candidate's photographs in Presidential, Dáil and local elections will be considered in the light of the experience at the European elections.

In relation to referenda, my Department will be undertaking an examination of the various methods of providing information, including the role of the Referendum Commission, and will seek to develop proposals having regard to the McKenna judgment, the Supreme Court appeal on the Coughlan case and the work undertaken to date in this area.