The Irish Mail on Sunday
– Labour stays home
Electoral register still open to abuse
SEVEN years after a Dáil committee recommended sweeping changes to ensure the electoral register is not open to abuse nothing has been done to prevent people casting multiple votes in different constituencies.
Three years ago the coalition’s Programme for Government promised to address the situation.
However, the system for managing electoral registers remains the same as it was in 1982 when Charlie Haughey’s election agent Pat O’Connor was charged for voting twice but acquitted.
The current Programme for Government contains a commitment to establish an electoral commission, as recommended by a local government committee in 2008. That committee also recommended using voters’ PPS numbers as a cross reference to prevent abuse. Both recommendations have yet to be implemented.
In our electoral system the fight for final seats can come down to a handful of votes so even a small fraudulent effort could alter the course of an election.