Irish Post calls for weekend election to facilitate recent emigrants

7 Jan

The London-based Irish Post has called for the upcoming general elections to be held on a weekend, to enable recent Irish emigrants to go home to vote.

The editorial first points out that there is no postal vote option for emigrants. Postal votes are reserved for the following:

  • Irish diplomats posted abroad
  • Members of the Garda Síochána
  • Full-time members of the Defence Forces,

and those who cannot get to a polling station because they

  • have a physical illness or disability
  • are studying full-time in Ireland away from home
  • are unable to vote at your polling station because of occupation
  • are unable to vote at your polling station due to imprisonment as a result of an order of a court.

As the Post says,

In other words, for practically all the newly-arrived emigrants from Ireland – tough luck.

These are desperate times for Ireland and our community must make it clear that all those forced to leave through the Government’s incompetence deserve a say in what happens next.

At the very minimum, the imminent General Election should be held at the weekend so that at least some of the newly arrived emigrants have a chance of returning home to vote.

My first thought was that this would be unsuitable anyway, since you need to be ordinarily resident to vote, but it is the case that you retain your resident status (and thus your vote) for 18 months if you have the intention to return to Ireland within that time. So a small number of emigrants would, in fact, be eligible to vote under such circumstances.

Read the article on the Irish Post website.

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