The Electoral Commission will be independent of Government, reporting directly to the Oireachtas. It will take on several existing statutory electoral functions from the outset, including responsibility for:
the registration of political parties
the work currently carried out by Referendum Commissions, Constituency Commissions and Local Electoral Area Boundary Committees.
In addition, it will have responsibility for:
the regulation of online political advertising during electoral periods
oversight of the Electoral Register
a new public information, research and advisory role in relation to electoral matters.
These functions will give the Commission a central role in our electoral system from the outset, bringing together a broad range of responsibilities.
The Commission’s membership will be comprised of a mix of public officials experienced in carrying out electoral functions and experts selected via a public competitive process, bringing a breadth of relevant skills and experience.
Pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage commenced in January 2021 and it is envisaged that the Electoral Reform Bill will be published in 2021 with a view to the Electoral Commission being in place by the end of 2021.
Queries can be addressed to:
Franchise Section, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Custom House, Dublin 1