Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Ceisteanna (332)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

332. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the practice by local authorities of issuing the 2018 to 2019 electoral register in alphabetical order by surname rather than numerical order by address and that the revised manner in the compilation of the register makes it unusable to public representatives; if local authorities are instructed by his Department to carry out same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13067/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In law, the preparation of the Register of Electors is a matter for each local registration authority. It is their duty to ensure, as far as possible and with the cooperation of the public, the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the Register. The focus of my Department's work in relation to the Register is to support and assist registration authorities in ensuring that an appropriate legislative framework is in place.

The statutory provisions relating to the form and content of the Register are contained in Rule 2 of the Second Schedule to the Electoral Act 1992. It is provided there that if the registration area is a city, the names should be arranged in street order unless the registration authority consider that doing so would be inappropriate, having regard to the general character of any part of the area . If the registration area is an administrative county, the requirement is to arrange the names alphabetically in townland order unless the authority consider that arrangement in street or any other order is possible and convenient, having regard to the general character of any part of the area.

I understand that the Dublin registration authorities have published the 2018/2019 Register in street order, where appropriate, but by name alphabetically rather than by house number in each such street in order to facilitate election staff at polling time. However, in order to be of assistance to the appropriate councillors and Oireachtas members in their areas, the registration authorities have also sent to them a soft copy of the Register, which enables them to sort the register information for each street into house number rather than alphabetic order.