Announcement by the Taoiseach on Voting Rights in Presidential Elections
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking at the Irish Famine Memorial in Philadelphia
The Taoiseach today announced that the Government has decided to hold a referendum to amend the Constitution to allow Irish citizens resident outside the State, including in Northern Ireland, to be allowed to vote in Irish presidential elections.
The Government's decision is in line with the recommendations of the Convention on the Constitution, in their Fifth Report.
Speaking at the Irish Memorial in Philadelphia today, the Taoiseach said:
Today's announcement is a profound recognition of the importance that Ireland attaches to all of our citizens, wherever they may be. It is an opportunity for us to make our country stronger by allowing all of our citizens resident outside the State, including our emigrants, to vote in future presidential elections.
The extension of the franchise will require modernisation of the voter registration process and the introduction of arrangements to facilitate citizens to exercise their franchise from outside the State. The Government has agreed that important work will now commence on modernisation of the voter registration process to effect improvements in the registration of voters.
This announcement is also in keeping with arrangements in place in a majority of countries around the world who provide for voting by those of their citizens resident outside the State.
Read the Taoiseach's speech here.
Coveney publishes an Options Paper on extending the eligibility for citizens resident outside the State to vote at presidential elections.
The Options Paper on extending the eligibility for citizens resident outside the State to vote at presidential elections is available here.