Close to final comments on NUI Register

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 4:  Paul Leeper check...

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There is a brief reference in the Irish Times today to comments I made yesterday about the likely turnout for the NUI Seanad and what this says about the  register. My actual comment* was that

“The likely turnout of 30% from 100,000 registered voters, which is itself much less than 30% of the number who should be able to vote were the NUI register up to date, demonstrates once and for all that this is an election for a minority of an elite, by a minority of an irrelevancy. It’s like we are reworking the 60s motto “What if we held an election and no one came.” We must never hold elections in this way again.”

It is worth noting that the turnout from the voters perspective of about 60% of those who probably get a ballot paper in time deciding to vote is not that bad.

I’m really astounded by the earlier part of the article that No.1 votes cast for someone deemed ineligible long after the close of nominations and the printing and issuing of ballots will be deemed to be invalid votes. It is very late in the day for such a decision to be made public when 80% of the votes have been cast. If the race is tight and the number of votes substantial I could easily see a court challenge.

The other aspect is that these elections demonstrate the problems with running non-geographical elections, but that’s a topic that no one will want to consider in practical terms after the election is over. We never appear to want to learn from anything that is happening right in front of us.

*which I entirely accept was too long for the space provided. I would have tried to be more pithy if I was aware it was going to so tight but there again I might not have been.

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