Friday 20 October 2017

State to save €600,000 by holding children's rights poll on Saturday

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

THE State will save €600,000 as a result of the decision to hold the children's rights referendum on a Saturday.

The Government has been able to push back the opening of polling stations by two hours due to the fact that most people will be off work on Saturday, November 10. Polling stations will be open from 9am until 10pm -- it was 7am to 10pm polling hours for the Fiscal Treaty referendum, which took place on a Thursday.

Saturday polling also means that there will be no need to close schools. And it will allow young people who are away at college to return to their constituencies to vote.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan, who has made the order for the polling day, called for polling station jobs to be given to the unemployed.

"While the efficient conduct of polls and the count is clearly dependent on having sufficiently skilled and experienced people, I would ask all local returning officers to consider employing suitable persons who are unemployed," he said.

There have been repeated complaints that polling station jobs are given to people who are retired or have other forms of employment.

The hiring is at the discretion of the local returning officer.

The Referendum Commission has encouraged people to check the electoral register to ensure they can vote.

Its chairperson Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan said there were still two weeks for people to add themselves to the electoral register or correct their address. The website is checktheregister.ie

Meanwhile, the "Yes for Children" group is running a national bus tour which will stop in more than 40 locations around the country.

It will be campaigning in NUI Maynooth and Newbridge in Kildare today, with further campaign stops in Wicklow town, Wexford town, Waterford city, Cork city and Killarney later in the week.

Irish Independent

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