Referendum polling cards sent to dead Dublin voters
Incorrect polling information sent to 35,000 voters in capital
Sample polling card sent out by Dublin City Council in advance of Friday’s referendum
An error by Dublin City Council has resulted in incorrect polling information being sent to over 10 per cent of the voting population in the Dublin City Council area ahead of this Friday’s Seanad and Court of Appeal Referendums.
The error affects an estimated 35,000 voters in the Dublin city area who received incorrect or inaccurate information after a council employee failed to update a computer file.
The council said it was taking steps to rectify the error and was in the process of notifying all affected voters by post.
“The polling cards were generated by an out of date file. It hadn’t been updated with additions to the voters’ register,” a spokesman said.
“If you changed address in the last couple of years your polling card may have gone to your previous address. If you were new to the voters’ register, you may not have received a polling card.”
The mistake was discovered on Monday evening.
An estimated 28,000 voters who recently changed address or who are first time voters were affected as well as some 9,000 voters who received polling cards advising them to go to the wrong polling stations. Polling cards were also issued to a “small number” of people who were dead.*
An unspecified number of voters fell into all three categories. The spokesman said Dublin City Council wished to apologise “unreservedly” to the families and relatives concerned for any distress caused.
The council spokesman said the Electoral Act precluded the council from issuing new polling cards as they “cannot be issued three or fewer days before polling day”.
Instead, letters are being posted to some 35,000 voters advising them of their electoral number and the correct location at which to cast their vote.
The spokesman was confident the letters would be received in time for Friday’s vote.
Contingency plans are being put in place in case voters do not receive their letters in time.
“The error will not result in anyone who is entitled to vote not being able to vote on Friday,” the spokesman said.
While the cost of the mistake has not been established the cost of postage alone will be in the region of €20,000.
Voters are not required to present a polling card but are advised to bring valid identification. A passport, driver’s licence, Garda ID card or social welfare card will suffice.
* This article was amended on 03/09/13 to correct an error