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Should voting times and days be set into legislation?


Keith-M

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Following this morning's announcement by Environment Minister Phil Hogan that he was reducing the voting hours by two hours and having polling on a Wednesday in the forthcoming Meath East by-election, has the time come to set the voting day and time into legislation?

Surely it should not be at the whim of a minister to limit voting hours in order to disenfranchise groups that would be most hostile to the government? Also we need regularise the day on which we vote in order to facilitate students and others who retain their vote at home while studying or working elsewhere.
 


Mackers

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I would prefer voting on Sundays and fixed terms for Goverment. With an allowance of time off for workers to cast their votes.
 

FrankSpeaks

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I would prefer voting on Sundays and fixed terms for Goverment. With an allowance of time off for workers to cast their votes.
Are you for real? I cannot believe than anybody would need to take time off work when one considers the length of time the polling stations are open for!
 

Keith-M

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I would prefer voting on Sundays and fixed terms for Goverment. With an allowance of time off for workers to cast their votes.

Be careful what you wish for on fixed term governments. Would we really have been best served by five years of the FF/GP government or are we likely to be well served by five years of he current shower given their collapsing approval ratings?
 

Mackers

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Be careful what you wish for on fixed term governments. Would we really have been best served by five years of the FF/GP government or are we likely to be well served by five years of he current shower given their collapsing approval ratings?
Five years? Never mentioned five years. Four at most.
 

emulator

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Following this morning's announcement by Environment Minister Phil Hogan that he was reducing the voting hours by two hours and having polling on a Wednesday in the forthcoming Meath East by-election, has the time come to set the voting day and time into legislation?

Surely it should not be at the whim of a minister to limit voting hours in order to disenfranchise groups that would be most hostile to the government? Also we need regularise the day on which we vote in order to facilitate students and others who retain their vote at home while studying or working elsewhere.
Yes.

It's clear that this kind of manipulation is designed to take certain groups out of the picture as much as possible for electoral/political reasons.

Polling should be at least 07:00 - 10:00 and on a Saturday. A FG TD was supposed to be bringing a bill to the Dail along those lines.... I wonder how that's going. :)
 

GJG

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I would prefer voting on Sundays and fixed terms for Goverment. With an allowance of time off for workers to cast their votes.
Voting from dawn until midnight on a Saturday would not deter either fundamentalist Jews or Christians, as there would be plenty of non-Sabbath time to vote; it would be longer than any work shift, and it should be for fixed terms, with voting shortly before school holidays begin, to encourage maximum participation.
 

Dame_Enda

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He must be worried.

Anyway these decisions should be removed from the hands of partisan politicians and transferred to an independent Electoral Commission. The establishment of such a commission has been the stated intention of successive govts but they haven't lifted a finger to bring it about.
 

Mackers

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Are you for real? I cannot believe than anybody would need to take time off work when one considers the length of time the polling stations are open for!
You're right they shouldn't, but sadly we live in the real world. I was also allowing for the chance that voting times would be shortened.
 

Keith-M

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Yes.

It's clear that this kind of manipulation is designed to take certain groups out of the picture as much as possible for electoral/political reasons.

Polling should be at least 07:00 - 10:00 and on a Saturday. A FG TD was supposed to be bringing a bill to the Dail along those lines.... I wonder how that's going. :)
I would be even less restrictive. For General, Local and Euro elections I would have voting over two days (Saturday and Sunday) as they have in Italy. Given the turnout in referendums, I would stick to voting on Saturday only.
 

Mackers

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He must be worried.

Anyway these decisions should be removed from the hands of partisan politicians and transferred to an independent Electoral Commission. The establishment of such a commission has been the stated intention of successive govts but they haven't lifted a finger to bring it about.
If you're referring to me I'm not in the least worried about what day people vote as long as they do.
 

corelli

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FFS. It's one constituency with only about 64,000 voters and the lord knows how many voting centres. Statistically, only roughly 60% of that will actually bother to vote at all. If they can't get out and vote between 8am and 9pm I give up.
 

flavirostris

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What about facillitating people that have votes in multiple electoral constituencies. So that a hypothetical voter ( let's call him Keith ) could vote in Limerick at 12 noon and then drive up to Dublin Central in the evening after work and vote for Fianna Fáil there too at maybe 11pm.
 
Last edited:

emulator

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Ahhh... I found it:
Fine Gael TD for Dublin North, Alan Farrell, has proposed a Bill to provide for the holding of elections and referenda on Saturdays or Sundays, stating that holding elections and referenda at weekends will benefit the country financially, educationally and democratically.

“Currently, election and referenda and the resulting counts take place on weekdays which results in a number of problems such as the interruption of our children’s education and the inability of people to return home to vote. I strongly believe that the benefits of holding polling days on weekends would be several-fold and that this issue is something that warrants very careful consideration.
Saturday polls would benefit the country financially, educationally and democratically | Alan Farrell TD

That seems to have gone out the window pretty quickly....
 

emulator

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FFS. It's one constituency with only about 64,000 voters and the lord knows how many voting centres. Statistically, only roughly 60% of that will actually bother to vote at all. If they can't get out and vote between 8am and 9pm I give up.
You may give up so....

You do realise we have shift workers and commuters in this Country ?
 

SeanieFitz

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If citizens really want to vote the majority will cast their vote, look at how long people queued to vote in the 2nd last election in the USA
in 1948 there was a 74.8% turnout for the Irish General Election (with v poor transport options), the lowest turnout was in 2002 which had a 62.5% turnout and the 2011 election rose to 70.1% which is a good turnout.
 

Keith-M

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FFS. It's one constituency with only about 64,000 voters and the lord knows how many voting centres. Statistically, only roughly 60% of that will actually bother to vote at all. If they can't get out and vote between 8am and 9pm I give up.
Meath Easth has one of the highest number of commuters in the country. 8am is clearly too late for most of them if they have to be in the Centre of Dublin for 8:30 or 9am and in the evening anyone doing overtime would be equally restricted. The poll is taking place on a Wednesday, not not even the early finish that many have on a Friday will help.
 

john scott

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We tried Saturday voting in a referendum and the turnout was very low to many people's surprise. If you are not interested enough to vote between 8.00am and 9.00pm then you probably wouldn't vote anyway. If the voting was until midnight some people would come in at 11.55. Some people see conspiracy theories everywhere.
 

Sister Mercedes

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I would be even less restrictive. For General, Local and Euro elections I would have voting over two days (Saturday and Sunday) as they have in Italy.
I wouldn't hold Italy as an example of Electoral Best Practice.
 

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