Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
1192. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if proposals will be brought forward to allow persons abroad on holidays or away temporarily for business reasons to cast their vote on polling day in national and local elections; his plans to reform electoral law generally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2710/20]
Postal voting is provided for in electoral law in respect of a number of categories of electors, including electors whose occupation, service or employment makes it likely that they will be unable to vote in person at their local polling station on polling day. Other categories of electors who may avail of postal voting are whole-time members of the Defence Forces, members of An Garda Síochána, Irish diplomats serving abroad and their spouses/civil partners, full-time students registered at their home who are living elsewhere while attending an educational institution in the State, prisoners and certain election staff employed at the poll outside the constituency where they reside.
While electoral law is subject to ongoing review I have no proposals at present to extend existing arrangements for postal voting.
In regard to the future reform of electoral law generally, this has been the subject of considerable work in recent times, including the development of proposals to reform the electoral register and the establishment of an Electoral Commission, details of which can be found on my Department's website at the following links:
Further progress on these initiatives will be a matter for the incoming Government and Oireachtas.