Should Irish emigrants still g...

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Should Irish emigrants still get to vote?

TodayFM
TodayFM

3:40 PM - 23 Aug 2013



Should Irish citizens living abroad be given a vote in presidential elections?

That's the question being considered by the Constitutional Convention when it returns to public business next month.

Today the convention has launched a public questionnaire for people living abroad, as it tries to ascertain the level of interest among Irish expats for the idea of keeping a vote.

Among the options are the idea of having a postal vote for all emigrants, or instead requiring interested citizens to attend a polling station set up at their nearest Irish embassy or consulate.

Chairman Tom Arnold says the meeting next month will try to incorporate thoughts from Irish citizens living around the world in the form of a virtual debate.

The idea of emigrant voting isn't new - one group ran a worldwide online poll alongside the 2011 Presidential Election to underline how Irish citizens living outside the Republic don't have a say.

It's thought that there are around two million Irish citizens living outside the State's borders - meaning any decision to allow emigrants to vote could massively sway the outcome of future presidential elections.

Noreen Bowden, a campaigner for emigrant voting, believes voting rights should be extended not only for presidential elections, but for general elections too.

She says emigrants are directly affected by the decisions of the Irish government.



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