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Huge surge in people registering to vote

THERE has been a massive surge in the number of people who want to have their say in Friday's general election.

A total of 48,963 people applied to have their names put on the supplementary register in just over two months.

The corresponding figure for the last election in 2007 was just under 37,000.

Political geography expert Dr Adrian Kavanagh said the increase shouldn't come as a surprise.

"There was a huge drive to clean up the electoral register in 2006, prior to the last election", Dr Kavanagh told the Irish Independent.

He added this kept the number of people on the supplemental register for 2007 artificially low.

But the lecturer in political geography at NUI Maynooth believes the announcement of this year's election caught many voters by surprise.

"People who didn't get around to registering I think probably suddenly had to get their names on the supplementary register when they realised there was an election coming," he said.

Every local authority around the country is responsible for maintaining a register of electors, which is compiled on the November 25 each year. Any person who wishes to be included in the register following this date has until 15 days before the election to apply for inclusion on the supplemental register.

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