Ireland is out of step with the majority of democratic countries in disenfranchising citizens once they move abroad, the Votes for Irish Citizens Abroad (VICA) campaign said on Wednesday. The comment came ahead of a Dáil debate on Friday on a report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs, published last November, that recommended Irish emigrants be granted the right to vote. This followed criticism from the European Commission, which said Ireland was disenfranchising its citizens living in other EU member states by not providing them with voting rights.
More than 120 countries have provisions for their citizens abroad to cast a ballot, but Ireland does not currently allow emigrants to vote in presidential or Dáil elections.
VICA chair professor Mary Hickman welcomed the committee’s recommendation that voting rights be extended to Irish people living abroad and called on the Government to address the matter urgently .
“We saw during the marriage equality referendum the appetite, both at home and overseas, for Irish people living abroad to be given the vote,” she said.
About 110,000 messages using the #HomeToVote hashtag were posted on Twitter over three days last May around the same-sex marriage referendum.
Full Article: Ireland ‘out of step’ on voting rights for emigrants.