Whenever an election or referendum takes place, my Department places advertisements in the national papers advising eligible voters who are not registered to vote to take the opportunity to apply for inclusion in the supplement to the register of electors so that they can take part in that election or referendum. In the case of referendums specifically, the role of any Referendum Commission established for that referendum includes the promotion of public awareness of the referendum and the encouragement of the electorate to vote at the poll. My Department also undertakes an annual poster campaign to encourage voters to ensure that they are registered to vote.
In July 2019 the Government approved the establishment of a statutory Electoral Commission. A General Scheme of an Electoral Commission Bill is currently being prepared in my Department and I expect that it will be completed before the year-end. It is envisaged that a voter education function will be assigned to the Electoral Commission. This would involve the development of ways to increase participation in our political processes through voter education. It will be a matter for the Electoral Commission to examine any existing schemes, when developing any new voter education programmes.