Tuesday, July 7, 2015 – 15:00
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has today (07.07.15) called on Government to ensure that the proposed Electoral Commission is properly resourced and prioritises the registration of young voters.
In a presentation to the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Community and Local Government NYCI outlined the urgent need to address the under registration of young people, given that up to 30% of 18-25s were not registered in a Red C poll commissioned by NYCI in autumn 2014.
“One of the many positives from the recent marriage equality referendum was the large number of young people who were registered and the significant turnout among the 18-25 year olds. This did not happen by accident, but was as a result of the excellent work of organisations such as USI, Belongto, Yes Equality and others. However on an ongoing basis it should not be the role of civil society organisation to make up for our deficient voter registration system. We need an efficient and well-resourced Electoral Commission to make sure our voter register is complete and accurate” stated Ian Power, President of NYCI.
NYCI also pointed out that the establishment of an Electoral Commission would facilitate the development of a centralised system for online voter registration. This would greatly assist those seeking to register for the first time as the current paper based system is outdated and cumbersome. An online process would also reduce the administrative burden on an Electoral Commission. NYCI is also proposing that an Electoral Commission should play a leading role in research to boost voter turnout.