Friday, May 18, 2007

Don't know why I cared, but I did, for a moment.

Checked the Electoral Register last night. Shock! Horror! I wasn't on it!

Before I could stop myself, I had the following invective for my local council...

Some months ago, prompted to do so by reports of people mysteriously disappearing from the Electoral Register, I logged onto your website to ensure that I was eligible to vote in the imminent General Election.

Imagine my astonishment when I discovered that I was one of the electors who had gone “AWOL”. I don’t recall ever registering myself to vote in another county, despite having dared to reside outside of the county on several occasions. I have always retained my right to vote in my home county.

In addition, the address at which I was registered is the same address at which my parents are currently residing and where my grandparents and several preceding generations of my family, all bearing the same surname as I do, have resided.

I immediately downloaded form RFA2 and completed it, remembering to have it signed and stamped by a member of An Garda Siochána. This I did at the local station on March 16th last. I posted the form, and I know for a fact that it did reach its destination, as I was contacted on my mobile number within a week by a member of your staff, who asked me to confirm my townland. She assured me that I would be replaced on the Electoral Register immediately.

Today, May 17th, I decide, just for the sheer fun of it, to check the Register once more. I am still “missing in action” according to your website.

In hindsight, trusting that civil servants would carry out their duties was a mistake on my part. As a civil servant myself, I naïvely fulfil the requirements of my role to the highest possible standard. As a consequence of the actions of XXXXX County Council, I have been deprived of my constitutional right to vote.

In an age where voter apathy is of grave concern to our elected representatives, it seems to me a terrible pity that those who want to vote are precluded from doing so by oversights and general carelessness on the part of our public service.

Returning home after having posted this, I discover my polling card waiting for me. Oops!

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