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Bereaved annoyed after finding loved ones still on vote register

April 2nd, 2020 5:10 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Bantry Cllr Danny Collins said it can be heart-breaking for some families when they’re getting voting cards in the post two, three or four years after a loved one had died. (Posed photo: Shutterstock)

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COUNCILLORS have heard that some people who have died are still on the register of electors 10 years later, while one representative said she has asked twice for her late father’s name to be taken off the register.

At a recent meeting of the local authority, Cllr Liam Madden (FG) called on the Council to properly update the register as people that have moved out of areas or that have died are still on the register 10 years later.

‘I had a previous motion before about getting on the register but this is about getting off it,’ said Cllr Madden.

‘This is about getting off the register and the use of PPS number is the one way of securing this. The Census next year is an opportunity there to give an extra duty to the people out there to update the register.’

Cllr Frank O’Flynn (FF) said he can see no reason why technology can’t be used to put in place a system and the overall system needs to be ‘tweaked.’ Cllr Gobnait Moynihan (FF) said it can very upsetting for families to receive a voting card in the post for someone who has died.

Cllr Anthony Barry (FG) said this issue has been raised all over the country and that  in this age of modern technology it’s ‘mindboggling’ that they don’t have the technology to update the register. He also agreed that the PPS number is the ideal way to change this.

Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG), who seconded the motion, said it’s ‘open to abuse’ if dead people are on the register, which they need to stamp out.

‘We need to tweak the system and it’s most aggravating and frustrating for people to have dead relatives on the register years after they have died. Bring back the idea of the numerators and they were doing a very good job and they were got rid of which is a disgrace,’ said Cllr Murphy.

Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) said one of the most difficult things during the recent election was when he was dealing with a man who didn’t want to receive the post as his wife died and he didn’t want to get her voting card.

Cllr Audrey Buckley (FF) said that she has twice asked to get her late father’s name off the register and is still waiting to see if it has happened.

Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said it can be heart-breaking for some families when they’re getting voting cards in the post two, three or four years after a loved one had died.

‘Is there a system where we can contact funeral homes and get them involved and maybe we could write to the funeral homes association on this?’ he asked.

Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) said the in the last council elections the accuracy of the register ‘was way out’ altogether.

‘But we have people living in the same residence for 30 years and then they are taken off the register and where is that coming from,’ said Cllr Carroll.

Council Deputy chief executive James Fogarty said he fully accepts the sentiments expressed by the councillor and asked councillors that if they know of someone dead on the register they should inform the Council.

Councillors were also told in a written reply that it regularly reviews the Death Events Publication Service provided by the General Register Office.

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