I lifted most of this post from Daithi at Lex Ferenda. I do so with apologies- this is an important, urgent topic.
If you are unlikely to be able to vote in person on Thursday 24th May (and you are already registered to vote), it is not too late to apply for a postal vote. If you are accepted as a postal voter (due to being resident in a different place to where youâ€™re registered – i.e. a student from Cork living in Dublin during term-time for college), you must vote by post – you canâ€™t then turn up at your polling booth in Cork.
Your application for a postal vote goes to the local authority area in which youâ€™re already registered – Donegal County Council in this area.
This must be done by Tuesday. (An application by an elector to have his name entered in the supplement to the postal voters list received by the registration authority on or after the third day after the dissolution of the DÃ¡il at a general election â€¦ shall not have effect in relation to that election or referendum).
If you, or anyone you know, will require a postal vote, my advice is to ring Sheila in Dr McDaid’s office on 074 916 8642. Registrations have to be in by 4pm tomorrow (Tuesday)
It’s widely expected that the Taoiseach is going to call the election some time over the next two weeks. There is much speculation as to the date, and importantly the day. Over at IrishElection.com they’ve launched a petition calling for the Government to not hold the election on a Thursday, favouring either Friday with late opening polls or preferably a Saturday.
I’ve just signed the petition (#815). The Local Elections in 2004 took place on a Friday, with polls open from 7am until 9pm if (I remember correctly). I went to great effort to ensure as many people as possible made it back from College and work in Dublin to get their votes in, but this wasn’t possible in all cases. Thankfully, I got enough votes to see me elected, but I definitely felt that there was a large amount of younger voters who lost out on voting in their local elections; even a 10pm close of polls would have been an improvement.
I’m delighted to support the campaign for a weekend poll; part of me thinks a Sunday may even be a good option, as happens in many European countries.
We should know fairly soon what day the election will be called on. I hope Bertie will see sense and go for a suitable date.
An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern is in Letterkenny today as part of his tour of Donegal North East. In particular, he’s due to officially open the new short stay unit at Letterkenny General Hospital this afternoon.
I hope to make the opening of the new unit at the Hospital today, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to, due to a heavy work load. Indeed, I was unable to make the Taoiseach’s last visit to Donegal for the same reasons (I was out of the county).
A sure sign that there’s an election in the air is the fact that Bertie is attending 15 functions in Donegal North East, and then travels to Donegal South West for the campaign launches for Pat The Cope Gallagher and Mary Coughlan.
The next election is due in the next 6 to 10 months, most likely in June of next year, and if you aren’t registered to vote, you will not be able to take any part in the election process.
I’ve just received the draft register of electors for November 25th. For Donegal residents, this can be checked online by clicking here. A list of ways to check for other regions is available on RegisterToVote.ie.
It’s absolutely vital that voters check this list. Corrections must be submitted before November 25th at the latest. If you’re not on this list, it may be difficult to get registered before the next election.
If you’re not on the list, get in contact with me (or your local public rep, if you’re outside Donegal) and I’ll help you get on the register.
Local minds have become very focussed on the next election, which is due to come up in the spring of next year.
To ensure you are able to take part in the next election, you should make sure you’re registered to vote. You can check the register for the entire county at http://www.donegal.ie/eReg/.
If you’re not registered, send me an email and I’ll help you get on the register. It’s a very simple process.