Dáil Éireann - Volume 675 - 17 February, 2009

Written Answers. - Register of Electors.

Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on allowing the people who may be on holidays during upcoming polling days for local and European elections to avail of a postal vote which would be allowed on production of proof that the person had a holiday booked and was therefore unable to be present at their local polling station during polling day; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6039/09]

  Deputy John Gormley: In order to be able to vote at elections and referenda in this jurisdiction, a person’s name must be entered in the register of electors for a constituency in the State in which the person ordinarily resides.

Postal voting is provided for in electoral law in respect of certain categories of person who are entered in the register of electors. The Electoral Act 1992 provides for postal voting by wholetime members of the Defence Forces, members of the Gardaí, and Irish diplomats serving abroad and their spouses. Subsequent legislation enacted by the Oireachtas has extended postal voting to other categories: electors living at home who are unable to vote because of a physical illness or a physical disability (the Electoral (Amendment) Act 1996); electors whose occupation, service or employment makes it likely that they will be unable to vote in person at their local polling station on polling day — in these cases, the law provides for completion of the necessary voting documentation at a Garda station (the Electoral Act 1997); full-time students registered at their home who are living elsewhere while attending an educational institution in the State (the Electoral Act 1997); certain election staff employed at the poll outside the constituency where they reside (the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2001); and electors who because [242] of the circumstances of their detention in prison pursuant to an order of a court are likely to be unable to go in person on polling day to vote (the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2006).

While electoral law is subject to ongoing review, there are no proposals to alter the existing arrangements along the lines referred to in the Question.

Question No. 404 answered with Question No. 402.