I was talking with someone from the NUI recently and it appears there may be something of a quandary over the registers of the two university panels.
There is a new register available every June 1st. The register to be used for an election is meant to be the one in effect when the Dail is dissolved. For this upcoming election it is widely believe that the Dail will be dissolved mid April. Meaning the new 2007 register would not be used, reverting to using the existing 2006 register. This means that recent graduates will not be included on the register.
However, when a similar situation arose in 2002 the NUI used the new register which they had compiled even though it had not yet come into effect. In the same election TCD on contrast used its previous register.
This time out the pressure is on TCD to use a new register as in the preparation of the 2006/07 register they misled 700 voters who had properly set in their registration forms
The boxes that the votes were in were overlooked/lost/misplaced. Senator Norris of TCD has raised a stink – rightly so in my view. It now seems that the best way for TCD to get out of their problem is to use their new register which should include these 700 names along with any other new folks. Unless they perchance mislay some of them too! However, that in turn means that the NUI is highly likely to also use a new register. So what you might say? Well, one thing is that candidates need the register in order to campaign .And given that the resources the NUI and TCD allocate to the task of updating their registers typically have from end of Feb to beginning of June to complete their task, slightly more than 3 months but this year they may need to issue the register earlier perhaps 6 weeks earlier in 50% of the time they would normally have. With it would appear at this time no extra resources allocated. And also no actual deadline to work against since they don’t know when the Dail will be dissolved.
Either a decision should be made to use the existing register unless the Dail is dissolved after June 1st or more resources need to dedicated to updating the register to ensure that the work can be completed in time.