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Monday, November 13, 2006

Fixing the electoral register.

See here is the thing, if you filled in the form and gave it to the collector, and it got lost in the system, what is there to stop it getting lost again if you fill it out now and have it returned by nov 25th?

And being a complete ninny but why do we not have a rolling register? Instead we have a deadline of Nov 25th and the register next comes out on Feb 15th of the following year. That is nearly 3 months to update and print something?

Surely, at this point the orginal register from which the printed version is made is electronic, probably a greate big excel file and that can be accessed via the web as we can see from checktheregister.ie so why can't they update the changes as they are going along? Each Monday morning the latest version replaces the version that was previously being accessed and then we can see well before Feb 15th and the final version being printed if we're on the damn thing.

Christ you would really wonder some times if the lads in the Dept of the Environment even know what century it is.


I will correct myself on one thing, the register comes out on Feb 1st and comes into effect on Feb 15th.

See it takes 2 whole weeks to distribute them. Odd that a publishing company and on-line sales sites can get you a copy of the new Harry Potter into hundreds of thousands of homes in the space of 2/3 days, we take 2 weeks to distribute the register to around a thousand locations.



But there is no IT job involved, the work of making the register available has been finally done and all this is copying a new version of the files up the same location once a week.

A rolling register would spread the cost and make it cheaper rather than having this false peak and who knows perhaps associated overtime.

Can anyone seriously think of a valid reason why we do this whole once a year deadline thing?

The most recent illustration of the farce our electorate register are
the revelations last week that a number of TDs have been struck off
the register despite personally preparing and handing in their forms.
If they are being targeted for elimination then what hope for the
rest of us?

As many people are now aware the Dept of the Environment has at long
last started to embrace the modern age and you can check if you are
on the register online using www.checktheregister.ie . Those who do
not have access to the net can continue to check at their local Garda
station or Post Office. If you are not on the current draft register
then you must fill in the form and get it into the council by
November 25th.

What is not understandable is why we do not having a rolling
register? By means all print and provide a paper copy once as year as
we already do, but we should spread the work of updating the register
throughout the year. All alterations to the register should require a
written note to be attached to the electronic master record. If
someone is removed the note should explain why that was done, just as
we have to provide a written form to be added. It would be very
interesting to hear why these Labour TDs were targeted for removal.

And finally, we should automatically add people to the register when
they are issued with a PPS number. Of course, only with the voting
rights appropriate to their status in the Irish electorate system.
The means to fix the register are so straightforward one would have
to wonder why it hasn’t been done already? E-voting has shown we
can’t trust the government to count the votes and now it seems we
can’t trust them to let us vote.



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