February 16, 2021
Plan to remove voters must be scrapped – Maskey

A plan by the British Government controlled Electoral Office to remove voters from the Electoral Register in the North has been slammed by West Belfast MP Paul Maskey.

Mr Maskey said:

“The Electoral Office, which is controlled by the British Government, plans to remove every voter from the electoral register this year.

“The purge of voters is absolutely unacceptable and an incredible action for the Electoral Office to even consider in the middle of a global health crisis.

“This could result in votes being taken away from many thousands of people, with a disproportionate impact on those from working-class communities. 

“A previous register wiping exercise by the Electoral Office resulted in over 60,000 people being taken off the register. 

“The Chief Medical Officer has said that it could be well into next year before the necessary pandemic restrictions are lifted, this will mean limited opportunities for registration clinics or door-to-door canvasses. 

“The Electoral Office should be placing their focus into developing new and innovative ways to make voting easier for people in an election in a pandemic situation, not wiping people off the register. 

“We need new processes to allow people to access and cast their votes in a safe manner.

“We also need improved processes to ensure the continuous updating of the register on an ongoing basis.

“Next year’s Assembly election will be defining for the future of our island, citizens should be encouraged to participate in this election and not removed from the register. 

“Sinn Féin will robustly challenge this proposal and continue to protect the voting rights of all our citizens.”

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