Waggling the registration stick

The electoral office is planning to make an example of 50 people for not registering to vote. Vote registration is now a legal requirement and failure to do so is punishable by a £1000 fine.

  • Doreen

    My mother received not one but two identical letters from the Electoral Office in Belfast because someone there has received information that she has changed her address. I would like to know how the Electoral Office knew that and, indeed, her new address. So much for her confidentiality and privacy!

    The fact that she is 91, is now in a nursing home, is not quite of sound mind and has no interest in politics tempts me to hope that she will be one of the 50 picked. She could not read never mind understand the letters.

    As if the Electoral Office and the Courts Service have nothing better to do!

    Doreen.

  • Doreen, EONI flogs some of this personal information unless you tick the appropriate box. Perhaps too many people have been ticking the box. I wonder if any of the details will find their way to the new MI5 centre or to the paramilitary organised crime wings.

  • joeCanuck

    I wonder what the Beak will say when the defendants show him/her the press release saying that they were going to make an example of some. Would seen unjust, to say the least.

  • The Raven

    I had the misfortune to overhear Nolan’s show this morning…was most amused at the chap who invited the Chief Electoral Officer to make a test case of him.

    I think this falls into the category of “haven’t the police better things to be doing”.

  • Doreen

    Nevin, who knows?

    The Raven, I too heard that chap on Nolan, and it was only when I visited mother this afternoon that I found the letters. For that reason I was tempted, but, of course, I will not let her be put through such an ordeal.

    Having heard Nolan this morning was helpful; it meant that I knew what was happening immediately and was able to say quickly that I would deal with them. That pleased/reassured her, which for someone in her position is really helpful/important.

    Doreen.

  • whoarethesechickenshits

    Doreen good luck with getting your mum sorted.

    Is the mindless thuggery that preys on the elderly now being institutionalised?

    ‘Douglas Bain was called to the Scottish bar in 1973. After working there in both the private and public sector he moved to Northern Ireland in 1988. Following a number of jobs in the Northern Ireland Office he was appointed as Director of Services in the Northern Ireland Prison Service in 2000. Douglas is married and is involved in EQUESTRIAN sport both as a competitor and an administrator.’
    -From a DCAL press release

    ‘the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately’
    -Thomas Jefferson, from a letter to Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826 (in the last letter he penned)

  • StarHound

    What is the logic behind making it compulsory to register when it is not compulsory to vote?

    Is this a snooping excercise or is it just cack-handed bureaucracy in action?

    The prosecutions are a ridiculous idea and completely disproportionate – so much for the previous nicey nicey approach of the Electoral Office.

  • Doreen

    Whoarethesechickenshits,

    I am about to reply to the Chief Electoral Officer pointing out that while ignorance of the law is said to be no excuse, conversly how can it be lawful to compel a woman to sign a document of which she would have no understanding at all?

    Starhound,

    To be fair, I think it is to do with eliminating voter fraud or personation, which is a good thing. But, as usual, forget any sensitivity and head for the easiest targets.

    Doreen.

  • Mark McGregor

    Myself and the wife applied to change our address in October. I was refuse credit on the basis my address didn’t match the one held by the electoral office in Jan. I rang the EO to ask why my address hadn’t been changed and got no adequate response beyond being told to reapply.

    I reapplied.

    They then sent me a letter saying I must submit prove of address to them within 30 days or they would take me to court, possibly fine me or throw me in gaol.

    WTF!

    I rang them and asked how they could register my wife, lose my forms and then ask for more than they asked for from her.

    They said they’d changed the rules.

    So much for the simplification they promised.

    All this hassle to spoil a couple of ballots.

  • Gregory

    I’ve not registered, I’m not going to either. I’d willingly go to jail first.

    A democractic process should guarantee the right not to encourage the corrupt eejits or Big Brother No1 by registering a vote.

    It is not who you vote for, it is also whether you bless the system in question by voting at all. Besides,

    SF already run the entire heap in West Belfast, why not just force everybody to join SF?

    They (who must be obeyed) even formed an ad hoc committee to cut down my bloody tree.

    G.

  • Gregory

    “To be fair, I think it is to do with eliminating voter fraud or personation, which is a good thing. But, as usual, forget any sensitivity and head for the easiest targets.”

    So we are going to blame the SDLP?

    Well as I’m not going to vote for Mark or Gerry, I’m still not registering.

    Put me in a dungeon.

    G.

  • Siphonophore

    It does give the government an accurate and current database of every adult and their residence. As accurate and current as any inference of reality can be that is.

    Does the law apply to those with only Irish citizenship resident in the six counties – if so it looks like it’d be easier to write a letter (and pay the fee) to revoke your UK citizenship if you really don’t want to register.

  • Mr Angry

    Given the glaring manifesto u-turns on the part of almost all of the parties since the last elections (specifically on the matter of no water charges) I’d moot that an interesting defence would be that one should not be fined £1000.00 or jailed for refusing to be complicit (wittingly or not) in fraud.

    A simple “Are you proposing to fine / jail me for refusing to be complicit in electoral fraud?” directed to the magistrate / judge should suffice.