28th May 2023

Ireland mulls e-voting for European elections

Ireland is considering introducing e-voting for the European elections in June - which could lead to more people voting.

The government will, with the next few days, appoint an independent commission and publish legislation within weeks to ensure electronic voting goes ahead, reports the Irish Times.

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Environment minister Martin Cullen, who has championed the new system, denied that it will mean that voters could spoil their votes if they wish to. The Government's aim was to facilitate those who wanted to vote, he said.

"There is not going to be a spoiled votes system", said Mr Cullen adding that it had already undergone extensive independent testing.

The independent commission is to make recommendations by 1 May on the introduction of electronic voting and counting for the European and local elections on 11 June.

Lack of interest

Turnout for the last round of European elections in 1999 was relatively low in Ireland at 50.7%.

But getting people interested enough to vote in European elections is not just an Irish problem.

In the same year, Swedish turnout clocked up at 38.8%, the Dutch at 29.9% with Britons trailing in at the bottom of the pack with 24.0%.

This year elections will take place from 10 -13 June across all 25 member states. Much hope has been pinned on getting an agreement on the European Constitution - over which talks are still stalled - to give voters something tangible to vote on.

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