Where in the world? Seanad voters are registered in 100 countries

Registered Seanad voters are in Tonga, Lesotho, Greenland ... and the USSR

There are more Seanad voters registered in Britain than in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Longford and Leitrim combined.

There are more Seanad voters registered in Britain than in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Longford and Leitrim combined.

 

More people in the US will be able to vote in the next Seanad election than in Roscommon, analysis of the registers of electors for the six university panel seats shows.

Of the 161,000 Irish citizens registered to vote in the Seanad election, some 94 per cent have addresses on the island of Ireland, while the remaining 6 per cent are located in more than 100 countries.

Electors, whose details are contained in two registers published by the National University of Ireland and Dublin University (including Trinity), include registrants in locations including Tonga in the southern Pacific, Lesotho in southern Africa and in Greenland.

The highest number of foreign-based registrants is in the UK (4,647). This means there are more Seanad voters registered in Britain than in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Longford and Leitrim combined.

A further 1,787 US-based Irish citizens are registered to vote in the election. This compares with 1,712 voters registered in Roscommon. Canada and Australia each have more than 500 people on the registers, while France has more than 300. In Ireland, there is a huge difference in the representation of Seanad voters between counties.

Seanad university panel registrants worldwide

Dublin has the highest proportion of potential voters at 47 people registered per 1,000 population compared with 17.4 per 1,000 population in Donegal – the county with the lowest representation. Other border counties – Cavan, Monaghan and Louth – as well as Co Wexford and Co Laois are also poorly represented with fewer than 20 registered voters per 1,000 population in each.

A total of 3,074 of those registered to vote are based in Northern Ireland, representing 1.7 people per 1,000 population.

It is likely at least some of those registered on the two university panel registers are no longer at their listed address. The inclusion of one address in Rhodesia (which became Zimbabwe in 1980) and another in the USSR (dissolved in 1991) is testimony to this.

In addition to this almost 12,500 people on the NUI register had their ballot paper returned undelivered in either or both of the 2007 and 2011 Seanad elections, while Trinity College Dublin considers around 5,800 addresses to be in doubt.

Under the Seanad Electoral (Amendment) Act 2001, registered officers can remove graduates from the registers if “after reasonable enquiry” the address is found to be incorrect or no longer in use or where they are made aware of the death of a registered individual.

However, if people register from a new address without informing the registered officers that they have moved it can lead to duplicate addresses being recorded for the same individual.

The next Seanad election will be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the Dáil, meaning it will take place in early June next year at the latest. This means it is highly likely that the current register of electors will be used for the next university panel election.