Mr John Paul Phelan, T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for electoral reform, has published a consultation document to get the views of the public on a range of proposals to update and modernise the electoral registration process.
Why we are launching this consultation?
While the current system has served the country well, the processes underpinning the compilation and management of the electoral register have changed little since the foundation of the state. These proposals offer a number of ways to make the registration process more responsive to the needs of a modern democracy.
The public and all stakeholders are invited to give their views, register any concerns, voice their support, identify any issues for implementation; or simply comment. All inputs received will be analysed and the content used to inform the preparation of detailed implementation and legislative proposals over the course of 2019.
The proposals in combination could mean:
registration in a way that works for everyone – online or on paper
a clear and simple process – one form, one process, one register – all year round
a single, secure database to enable cross-local authority checks while protecting data
balancing security and ease of access to protect the integrity of our registration process
building an electoral register that is secure, comprehensive and accurate
data sharing in the future – subject to clear standards, limits and safeguards
to enable these reforms in full would require improved identity verification such as requiring provision of Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSNs), and some limited data sharing between local authorities who manage the electoral registers and other state bodies (for verification purposes.
To ensure the safety and security of data and the integrity of our electoral system, the following will be considered:
data protection and privacy will be central at all stages; data collection and storage will be subject to rigorous testing
hardware and cyber security will be prioritised
strict usage rules for those working with the register
rigorous and sustained security and stability auditing over the long-term
Respondents are advised that the Department is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and Data Protection legislation.
Personal, confidential or commercially sensitive information should not be included in your submission and it will be presumed that all information contained in your submission is releasable under the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
What We Will Do With Your Response
Responses will inform the preparation of a full implementation proposal for the modernisation of the electoral registration process.
All submissions received will be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection legislation and will be published on the website.
Report on Public Consultation Process
The Report on this Public Consultation process has now been published and is available here – Report of Public Consultation on Proposals to Modernise the Electoral Registration Process.
Report of Public Consultation on Proposals to Modernise the Electoral Registration Process