Thursday 22 March 2018

Almost 10,000 Seanad voters without ballot papers as 'archaic' postal system criticised

Averil Power Photo: David Conachy
Averil Power Photo: David Conachy

Barry Lennon

Almost 10,000 Seanad voters are without their ballot papers after they failed to be delivered to their homes correctly.

Trinity College confirmed to Independent Senator Averil Power almost “one in six” ballot papers had been returned as voters contacted her after not receiving voting papers.

Ms Power said this happened because voters used old addresses or were not home to sign for the registered letters.

The Independent candidate, who is on the college’s panel, criticised the “archaic” postal voting system of the Seanad.

Leinster House
Leinster House

“It costs a lot of money to send ballot papers all over Ireland and the world by registered post. And not to forget having to send them out again,” she said.

“In this day and age the number of people who are home to sign for registered post is so small. So it doesn’t make much sense.

“A secure online voting service would make a lot more sense, based around someone’s PPS number.”

She added it was important “ridiculous obstacles” were not put up in the way of the “select few voters” in the Seanad.

Ms Power said she had called to voter’s old addresses on her campaign trail, knocking on the door of voters’ parents as voters on the Trinity panel.

“Voters may have registered initially when students at Trinity using their parents address but may have moved since leaving college,” she added.

“The good thing (I found during my campaign) is that I’m known. It’s good to have national profile ahead of a campaign.”

“And it’s great to have varied endorsements from Niall Breslin to Leo Varadkar. It’s a good personal endorsement.”

Voters in who have not received their ballot papers  must contact Trinity College to get them reissued.

Ballot papers for Trinity must be returned by post before 11am on April 26.

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