- Oct 8, 2016
Ireland grants refugees and asylum seekers right to voteHow in the name of feck can an asylum seeker be allowed vote and run for local elections, surely you’re taking the piss?
By Steven O’Brien | 30 April 2004
>DUBLIN, Ireland, April 30 (UNHCR) - Refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland will be eligible to vote for the first time in local elections on June 11 this year, following uncertainty based on the lack of recognition of their identity documents.
>Until this week, refugees and asylum seekers had been barred from participating in local elections because the list of documents accepted as identity documents for voting failed to include the Temporary Registration Certificate (TRC) card that is carried by asylum seekers, or the Garda [Police] National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) card carried by refugees.
>However, the Irish Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Martin Cullen, announced this week new regulations extending the list of documents that are acceptable for the purpose of voting to include those held by refugees and asylum seekers.
>On April 27, the minister’s department stated: “When a person goes to vote, he may be asked for identification, and the inclusion of the TRC card and the GNIB card will ensure that asylum seekers and refugees who are registered on the register of electors will have appropriate identification documents available to them.”
>Under Irish electoral law, all voters must be “ordinarily resident” at an address and aged 18 years and above to be eligible to register as a voter. Subsequently, their citizenship defines the elections at which they are entitled to vote.
>Irish citizens are eligible to vote at all polls, EU citizens can vote at European and local elections, while non-nationals (other than EU citizens) can vote at local elections only.
Ireland grants refugees and asylum seekers right to vote