To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government his plans for a review of the electoral registration system; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
In March 2017 the Government determined that work should commence on modernisation of the voter registration process in the context of the possible need to register voters resident outside the State in the event that a referendum on extending the franchise in Presidential elections is passed.
The project, which it is estimated will take some 2-3 years to complete, will also include consideration of wider policy and legislative changes, including initiatives such as online registration. There will be an initial focus on a series of proposals including those made by the Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht in its report on the consultation it carried out on the proposed Electoral Commission in 2016.
Conscious of the importance of the register and its role in our democracy and the need to ensure security and integrity are key priorities for any changes being considered, significant consultation is planned to engage all stakeholders, including registration authorities, the political system at all levels and the public.
An initial technical consultation with franchise teams in local authorities was completed in September 2018 and the constructive inputs received informed the further development of proposals which will now be put to a public consultation, that will offer an opportunity to all relevant stakeholders and the public to contribute. I expect that consultation to be launched in the coming week.
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