Almost half not registered to vote - MLA

Foyle Sinn F�in MLA Raymond McCartney. (2809MM20)
Foyle Sinn F�in MLA Raymond McCartney. (2809MM20)

Almost half the population of the north may be unable to vote at the next election, a Foyle Assembly member has said.

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney described new figures which show that 45 per cent of the population are not on the electoral register as “shocking.”

The figures were released following the recent electoral registration drive carried out across the North.

“The figures show that on average only 55% of those eligible to vote have returned their electoral registration form. This is a shocking statistic.

“If things remain the same this means that 45% of those of voting age will not have a vote on election day,” he said.

The Foyle MLA called on the NI Electoral Office to ensure that people have the chance to get registered ahead of the next election.

“It is their responsibility and they must take immediate action to ensure that people are registered.

“Sinn Féin have raised our concerns surrounding the entire electoral registration process. This includes the view that the message was not clear enough in terms of deadlines and the seriousness of not being on the register along with the fact that people will be taken off the register if they have not sent in completed forms.

“Sinn Féin will be contacting the Electoral Office to press this message home. We cannot have 45% of eligible voters disenfranchised,” he added.