Call for review of polling station locations

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Call for review of polling station locations

The location of polling stations in one part of the county needs reviewed to keep up to date with changing demographics and population movements, it has been claimed.
A county councillor has called for a review of the polling stations in the Letterkenny Municipal District.
Sinn Féin councillor Gerry McMonagle raised the issue at the October meeting of the Letterkenny Municipal District. He tabled a motion calling for the council to engage with the local electoral office to request a review of polling stations.
Cllr. McMonagle said the polling scheme for the municipal district “is out of kilter to where people live”.
“There are people who pass a number of polling stations to get to another one,” he said.
“We need a review of polling stations. This is about encouraging people to vote. We need to discuss this and look at ways and means that we can make it easier for people who vote - to make it more accessible for them. We have to look at where people are travelling to vote,” he said.
The motion was seconded by Cllr Mick Quinn (SF) who said it is an issue that is important for everyone.
“Everyone is encouraged as much as possible to exercise their franchise for a large variety of elections,” he said.
“I think there is a possibility that what is happening at the moment is affecting what is happening in elections. We might find that areas that have the lowest turnout, it is because of these issues.”
Cllr Quinn also said it should be considered that people can only vote if they produce their PPS number.
“It is one of the most secure forms of identity and in many elections, afterwards there is a query and a suggestion that some people who voted may not have been eligible to vote. If registration is linked to PPS numbers, it would be a very secure way of ensuring that those who vote are entitled to vote.”
Director of Services, Liam Ward, said it might be useful to have a conversation with the county register about where polling stations are located.
“It has certainly been an issue for sometime of how to maintain an accurate and up to date voting register,” he said.