A massive number of people are on Ireland's electoral register who shouldn't be

A massive number of people are on Ireland's electoral register who shouldn't be

A special investigation has revealed that Ireland's electoral register is massively overstated by almost half a million people.

A newstalk investigation that makes a comparison of the register with the latest census shows there are more than 488,000 too many people entitled to vote, an overstating of the register by 15%.

Political Analyst Ordan Flynn says this should raise concerns about our democratic process.

Mr Flynn said: "I mean one of the essences of a democracy is that you can trust the electoral system.

"When you've got a situation where, certainly at least half a million people on the register shouldn't be on it, then can you be truthfully confident that the register can be totally trusted and the electoral system can be totally trusted?"

According to the most recent census, the number of people aged 18 and over in the country entitled to vote - ie Irish and British citizens resident in Ireland - is 3,023,025.

However, in last year’s same sex marriage referendum there were 3,221,681 voting cards issued.

That means that a minimum of 200,000 too many people were registered to vote – primarily due to people being on the register for multiple addresses or those who emigrated remaining on the register.

That 200,000 figure assumes a 100% registration rate among citizens which is normally not the case in any western democracy, where registration is voluntary.

Even assuming a registration rate of 90% then the register is overstated by more than 488,000 voters.

At a registration rate of 85%, the overstating of the register is well over 600,000.


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