Posters banned until election is called

 

ELECTION POSTERS:CANDIDATES IN the forthcoming general election have been warned that they face fines for littering if they put up posters in advance of the general election.

A provision enacted in 2009 forbids the erection of election posters before the general election is called or 30 days before to polling day, whichever is sooner.

Local authorities have been given the power to issue on-the-spot fines of €150 for each breach of the regulations.

In previous elections, candidates were ordered to take down posters within seven days of an election, but there was no time limit on putting up posters before polling day.

The public have been told to report any breach of the new rules to their local authority who will then remove the offending posters.

The new regulations were brought into force after a public consultation exercise instigated by the Green Party’s former Minister for the Environment John Gormley as a response to increasing complaints from the public about the tendency of parties to jump the gun before an election is even called.

He was accused of hypocrisy when a Green Party candidate put up a poster before the local elections in May 2009 with the candidate’s name advertising a jumble sale.

There are no specific regulations in place governing either the number or the size of election posters.

Potential electors have been given 15 days to ensure they are on the register if they wish to vote in the forthcoming general election.

The new register of electors will be published on February 1st and will come into force on February 15th.

Anyone who qualifies to go on the register and is not on it can avail of the supplement to the register up to 15 days before polling day.

Potential voters can apply to go on the supplement at any time, but if they miss the 15-day deadline before polling day, the application will not be taken into account for that election.

Application forms are available from the local authority and can be downloaded from checktheregister.ie

Each application for entry must be signed in the presence of a garda who must be satisfied as to the identity of the person involved.