This Electoral (Amendment) Act 2011 provides for the revision of the terms of reference of a Constituency Commission, puts a time limit on the calling of bye-elections to fill vacancies in Dáil Éireann and reduces the spending limits and the level of election expenses that can be reimbursed to a candidate at a presidential election. Where, after a period of 6 months from the date of a vacancy arising in the Dáil, the Dáil has failed to direct the Chairman of the Dáil to instruct the Clerk of the Dáil to issue the writ for a bye-election, the Chairman shall so instruct the Clerk as soon as is practicable.
This Electoral (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2012 makes provision for the use of information in the electoral register for selecting citizen members of the Constitutional Convention. Information in the electoral register, including any draft register or supplement to the register, may be used for the purpose of selecting citizen members of the Constitutional Convention.
Register of Electors
The 2013 Act provides for the preparation and publication of one register of electors for the 2014/2015 period in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford, in which areas members of single new local authorities were to be elected at the local elections in 2014.
Limerick City and Limerick County are one registration area and Limerick County Council is the registration authority for that are. North Tipperary County and
South Tipperary County will be one registration area and South Tipperary County Council is the registration authority for that area. Waterford City and Waterford County will be one registration area and Waterford County Council is the registration authority for that area.
Postal and Special Voters Lists
Applications for inclusion in the supplement to the postal voters list on the electoral register received by a registration authority on or after the 21st day (excluding Sundays and public holidays) in advance of polling day in the case of presidential, European or local elections and referendums shall not have effect at that election or referendum and that as soon as practicable after that date the registration authority will publish the list of the names of those whose applications were allowed by the registration authority.
Applications for inclusion in the supplement to the special voters list on the electoral register received by a registration authority on or after the 21st day (excluding Sundays and public holiday s) in advance of polling day in the case of presidential, European or local elections and referendums shall not have effect at that election or referendum and that as soon as practicable after that date the registration authority will publish the list of the names of those whose applications were allowed by the registration authority.
The 2013 Act repeals the requirement for An Post to make copies of referendum Acts available for inspection and purchase by members of the public, at post offices, in the run up to referendums.
Purpose of the 2014 Act
The purpose of the Electoral (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2014 is to provide that the Clerk-Assistant of the Dáil will perform the functions of the Clerk of the Dáil under the electoral Acts whenever the Clerk of the Dáil is not available through illness, absence or other cause and that the Clerk-Assistant of the Seanad will perform the functions of the Clerk of the Seanad under the electoral Acts whenever the Clerk of the Seanad is not available through illness, absence or other cause.
A person may apply for entry in the supplement to the register of electors if they were not a citizen of Ireland on the qualifying date (1 September each year) for a register of electors and subsequently became a citizen of Ireland.
This Electoral (Amendment) Act 2016Act makes provision in statute for the use of information in the register of electors for selecting members of the Citizens’ Assembly. Information in the register of electors prepared including any draft register or supplement to the register, may be used for the purpose of selecting members of the Citizens’ Assembly.
The Electoral Reform Act 2022 provides for:
- The establishment of a statutory, independent Electoral Commission for Ireland.
- The modernisation of electoral registration
- The regulation of online political
- Provisions to assist with the holding of electoral events where Covid- 19-type restrictions are in place.
- The extension of voting facilities for persons with mental health difficulties in line with the facilities that are currently in place for persons with physical illnesses or disabilities.
The Commission is responsible for the oversight of the electoral register, researching and considering the accuracy and completeness of the electoral register across registration authorities, and the activities undertaken by registration authorities in updating the electoral register. Its findings are set out in an annual report. The Commission includes in its annual reports an assessment of how well electoral registers are functioning and makes recommendations as to how improvements can be made. It will be open to the Commission to set standards for registration authorities and make recommendations for legislative changes to electoral registration processes to the Minister.
Franchise and Register
- Electoral Reform Act 2022 provides for the modernisation of arrangements for the registration of electors; including.
- continuous registration on the basis of individual application;
- necessary and appropriate data sharing to assist registration authorities in updating and maintaining the register;
- annual reporting by registration authorities to the Commission;
- a designated registration authority to manage a shared database for registration authorities to use in the performance of their functions; for
- anonymous registration in certain limited cases; for a specific registration process for persons with no fixed address;
- a pending electors list for persons aged 16 and 17; and
- to provide for the extension of postal voter categories to include special voters in certain circumstances.
A qualifying date no longer applies because of the rolling register.
The register in force continues to be in force on commencement of this section, becoming the electoral register to be maintained and published on an ongoing basis in accordance with the revised processes being set out in the Electoral Reform Act 2022.
One registration authority, which will be prescribed by regulation as a ‘designated registration authority’ can manage a shared database for all registration authorities, and for associated matters related to the shared database. The designated registration authority is to report annually to the Electoral Commission.
The register of electors may only be used for electoral or other statutory purposes.
Data sharing is permitted between registration authorities in relation to the electoral register. It also provides for data-sharing to enable the confirmation of ‘identifying particulars’ between the Minister for Social Protection and registration authorities and the designated registration authority. The Act allows for the conduct of a possible periodic data sharing exercise between a Minister of the Government or a specified public body and a registration authority, in accordance with an Order by the Minister.
Individual applications can be made to the register or to amend details. Registration authorities consider such applications. There is a right of appeal in cases of refusal.
There is provisions for anonymous registration where a person’s safety may be compromised by publication of their details; Supporting documentation is required.
Electoral Reform Act 2022 changes the special voters list, by removing the limitation on illness or disability to ‘physical’ illness or disability. There are closing dates for applications.
16 and 17 year olds may pre-register on a pending electors list and for the inclusion of these persons on the register from when they turn 18.
Each registration authority has obligations in relation to maintaining the register of electors and making it available for inspection.
Reports are to be submitted by registration authorities to the Electoral Commission each year setting out their activities in relation to the register for the preceding year. These reports feed into the oversight function of the Commission.
A person can notify the registration authority of any changes they consider necessary to the register in respect of entries that are not their own.
The Citizens’ Assemblies Act 2019 allows for the use of information in the register of electors for selecting members of certain Citizens’ Assemblies.
A Citizens’ Assembly is established pursuant to a Government decision of and in accordance with resolutions of the Houses of the Oireachtas.