[Sinn Fein]

30th April 2003

CSO report on voter participation a damning indictment of a failed system

Sinn Fein spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government Arthur Morgan TD has described today's report on Voter Participation and Abstention by the CSO as a ``damning indictment of a system that fails to realise the value of getting young people interested in voting and participating in politics.''

Deputy Morgan said:

``It is clear from today's report that our voter registration procedures are failing our young people. Current procedures are too hit and miss. We need to set in place a mechanism that ensures that all citizens upon reaching their 18th birthday are registered to vote.

``Another problem highlighted by the survey shows that people from areas of economic disadvantage are also less likely to vote or to be registered. This indicates that there is a vicious circle involved with all the major parties ignoring this part of society and with the result that these communities feel that politics has nothing to offer them.

``The registration of voters should not be left to political parties or interest groups ? it should be something that happens as a matter of course.''

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