Time for electoral commission

 

Sir, – I agree wholeheartedly with Claire McGing’s hope that the next government should prioritise the establishment of an electoral commission as soon as possible (“We need an electoral commission”, Letters, January 16th).

However, there are things that could be done in the meantime.

As a longtime canvasser, it’s noticeable at every election and referendum how many potential votes are going to waste because it’s obvious that a good number of people are confused about the voting system here in Ireland.

We know from the National Adult Literacy Association that one in six people in has a difficulty with literacy, and this, combined with a lack of easily accessible information, leads to people giving up the idea of voting, even when they really want to.

Would it be possible for the government to commission a short public information film, to be shown at cinemas, on TV and radio, schools and colleges, and online, before every election, on the voting system?

From registration, to the polling card coming in the door, to the procedures at the polling station, and voting preferences down the ballot paper.

It’s a shame that in a country where it can seem people talk about politics non-stop, some of our citizens feel that they cannot be part of that democratic process, and through no fault of their own.

All political parties are losing out over this issue, so it’s in all their interests to take action as soon as possible to get an electoral commission up and running as soon as possible. – Yours, etc,

ANGELA TIMLIN,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.