Councillor Murphy calls for overhaul of electoral register system

Aileen Hahesy

Aileen Hahesy

A South Tipperary county councillor has called for the way in which the electoral register is compiled to be radically reformed with citizens PPS numbers being used to automatically include them once they reach the voting age of 18.

The call has come from Fine Gael Cllr Marie Murphy, who says that with the technology now available the Government should be able to compile the register of electors in each constituency based on voters PPS numbers rather than leaving it to voters themselves to register.

She says the register of electors in South Tipperary and most constituencies in the country are not in a good state and need to be completely reviewed. The Clogheen based councillor said there were incidences of polling cards being sent to deceased voters, whose names hadn’t been removed from the register, which can be very upsetting for their families.

There were also cases where people who moved home ended up being included on the register twice, under their former and current addresses. This left the voting system open to abuse at elections and referenda votes.

“With the technology we have today it should be easy enough to do the register. We all have PPS numbers, you get one when you are born. So once you reach the age of 18 you shouuld automatically be put on the electoral register,” she explained.

“If you are not paying taxes or receiving a social welfare payment you must be out of the country and it should be possible then to remove your name from the register after a few months. When people die a death cert is issued so it should be possible for their names to be automatically taken off the register then”.

Cllr Murphy made her comments ahead of the November 25 deadline for corrections to South Tipperary’s Draft Register of Electors for 2013-2014.

She encouraged people not currently registered to vote to do so and those voters who have changed addresses to amend their entry in the register.