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I ACCIDENTALLY REGISTERED TO VOTE TWICE

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  • 26-11-2017 4:45pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 108 ✭✭


    Hey so slight problem...I accidentally registered to vote twice at my home address in Laois and my college address in Cork (it's a very long story). What should I do?


Comments

  • Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 21,503 Mod ✭✭✭✭Agent Smith


    Just vote once, in either polling station. You are one of 1000's on the register multiple times. the register is in a shambles.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,511 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Perfectly legit to be on the register in respect of more than one residence, if you have more than one residence. Very common for students to be double-registered in this way. This is not a "shambles"; it's as intended.

    You should only vote the once, though.


  • Posts: 25,611 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Perfectly legit to be on the register in respect of more than one residence, if you have more than one residence. Very common for students to be double-registered in this way. This is not a "shambles"; it's as intended.

    You should only vote the once, though.

    Is it really?


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,556 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Perfectly legit to be on the register in respect of more than one residence, if you have more than one residence. Very common for students to be double-registered in this way. This is not a "shambles"; it's as intended.

    You should only vote the once, though.

    Is it really?

    It is not illegal to multiple register. What is illegal us to get a second ballot paper. Technically you do not even have to cast the vote as this is hard to prove. As long as you do not attempt to vote twice you have done nothing illegal

    Slava Ukrainii



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,511 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    It is not illegal to multiple register . . .
    . . . provided you genuinely have a residence in each of the places where you register.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,556 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    . . . provided you genuinely have a residence in each of the places where you register.

    Not really sure about that. AFAIK you still have to try to vote more than once to commit an offence

    Slava Ukrainii



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,511 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    It is not illegal to multiple register . . .
    Peregrinus wrote: »
    . . . provided you genuinely have a residence in each of the places where you register.
    Not really sure about that.
    The governing legislation is the Electoral Act 1963. Under s.6 of that Act "a register by reference to registration areas consisting of administrative counties and county boroughs shall be prepared and published in every year of persons who were entitled to be registered as electors". Under s.5, subject to age and citizenship requirements a person is "entitled to be registered as a Dáil elector in a constituency if . . . he . . . was, on the qualifying date . . . ordinarily resident in that constituency".

    The test here is not actual or immediate residence, but ordinary residence. "Ordinary residence" isn't defined, but there is a provision that says you can have left a place up to eighteen months ago and still be considered ordinarily resident there if you intend to return, so clearly "ordinary residence" can be consistent with quite long absences. There's nothing in the Act to suggest that you can only be ordinary resident in one place at any time, and there's no reason why somebody who maintains or has recently maintained a home in two places can't be resident in both of them.

    As for voting twice, I think the relevant legislation is Prevention of Electoral Abuses Act 1923 s. 10(2):

    "Every person who votes more than once at an election (whether in the same or in different constituencies) shall, notwithstanding the fact that the name of such person appears on the register of electors, be guilty of an illegal practice."

    Note that the wording of the provision acknowledges that you may be on the register of electors for the consituency, and yet have previously voted elsewhere (because you're also on the register for that place).


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,556 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    The 1923 act was amended in the 80"s after the failure to convict Charles Naught election agent of multiple voting. This made applying for the extra ballot papers an offence

    https://www.google.ie/amp/s/www.irishtimes.com/news/haughey-s-former-election-agent-dies-1.145083?mode=amp

    Slava Ukrainii



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,511 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    The 1923 act was amended in the 80"s after the failure to convict Charles Naught election agent of multiple voting. This made applying for the extra ballot papers an offence

    https://www.google.ie/amp/s/www.irishtimes.com/news/haughey-s-former-election-agent-dies-1.145083%3fmode=amp
    I may be wrong, but I think that's an offence in addition to the 1923 Act offence of voting twice, not instead of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,556 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    I may be wrong, but I think that's an offence in addition to the 1923 Act offence of voting twice, not instead of it.

    They failed to convict under the 1923 act so they had to amend it/bring in a new offence so it could not be repeated. If you voted twice they would prosecute you under the 1984 amendent/new offence rather than the 1923 act

    Slava Ukrainii



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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,511 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    They failed to convict under the 1923 act so they had to amend it/bring in a new offence so it could not be repeated. If you voted twice they would prosecute you under the 1984 amendent/new offence rather than the 1923 act
    They failed to convict under the 1923 Act because, on the second occasion when he presented himself at a polling station, Pat Pat O'Connor O'Connor was challenged as soon as he applied for a ballot paper, whereupon he turned around and ran out of the polling station and into history. He couldn't be charged with voting twice, since he hadn't in fact voted on the second occasion, and an prosecution for attempting to vote twice failed because he hadn't got far enough - he didn't obtain a ballot paper, fill it out, attempt to put in the ballot box, anything. No actual attempt to cast a vote.

    There was a view that this was unsatisfactory; the more vigilant the presiding officers were, the harder it was going to be to convict someone of electoral offences in this situation. So they legislated for the new offence of applying for a second ballot paper.

    But they didn't repeal or amend the first offence; it's still on the statute books. And if, hypothetically, you applied for a second ballot, obtained it, filled it out and cast a vote, you could be charged with either or both offences. And you could of course be convicted of the 1923 offence, but not the 1984 offence if, when you applied for a ballot paper, you were accidentally given two, and you filled them both out and cast them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,943 ✭✭✭tabbey


    I thought that Pat O'Connor was acquitted because although the garda in one polling station gave evidence that he saw O'Connor in that station, and the garda in the other station did likewise, neither garda had seen him in both.

    In this case, O'Connor lived on a corner, the two thoroughfares were in different polling station districts, within one constituency.

    It was wrong to have not accepted the evidence of the two gardai. After all each garda was on duty at one polling station,and could not have seen O'Connor elsewhere. Political sympathy by the justice must be suspected.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,511 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    tabbey wrote: »
    I thought that Pat O'Connor was acquitted because although the garda in one polling station gave evidence that he saw O'Connor in that station, and the garda in the other station did likewise, neither garda had seen him in both.
    That's not my memory of the case. And, as you point out, that would be a bizarre basis for an acquittal. It's common for different elements of an offence to be proven by different witnesses.

    My recollection is, as set out above, that the actions he was proven to have taken at the second station were not sufficiently proximate to casting a vote that he was held not to have completed an attempt.

    On edit: A bit of googling suggests that in fact the basis for the dismissal was that there was no evidence as to how (or even if) O'Connor had completed his first ballot paper. If he had spoiled it, that would not be a "vote" as defined in the Electoral Acts, and therefore there was no evidence that he had voted the first time.

    The dismissal of the charge was taken to the High Court, where it was dealt with by Tom Finlay. Nobody would suggest that Finlay could have been biassed towards either Fianna Fail or Haughey.
    tabbey wrote: »
    In this case, O'Connor lived on a corner, the two thoroughfares were in different polling station districts, within one constituency.
    Due to a clerical error, everyone on O'Connor's street, or at least on a section of the street, had received two polling cards for different stations. Since some of those people were supporters of Fine Gael, Labour, etc, the fact that this error had occurred, and that all the O'Connor family had likely received two cards, was well-known to other parties. They also knew that O'Connor was corrupt enough to attempt to take advantage of the error, and dumb enough not to realise that Fine Gael and others would be waiting for him to do so. This explains the alacrity with which he was challenged at the second polling station. He had been observed voting at the first station, and word of this had been passed back to the personation officers at the second station.


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