The Irish Times ran a nice editorial piece yesterday (2006/05/11) on the Electoral Register that highlighted the administrative failure that surrounds the Electoral Register.
One good line: “IF the potential for abouse exists within the voting system – and it unequivocally does – the Government’s responsibility is to protect democracy and correct the electoral register”
The Old Lady of D’Olier Street correctly identifies that there is a “reluctance at official and political level to step outside traditional mechanisms to address the situation”.
The reported ruling out by Dick RocheÂ of the use of personal identification at polling stations reflects this apparent lack of willing to change processes to improve the quality of the register and improve the controls on the Electoral process. As the Irish Times rightly points out, you have to produce evidence of address to get a parking permit from Local Authorities. I can’t join a library in Dublin because I don’t have a utility bill at an address in Dublin.
The chronic lack of leadership on this issue is appalling. Here’s a link to a piece I’ve written in an International Journal for Information Quality people… it references some reseach that was done in 2004 into attitudes to Information Quality in UK Public Sector organisations…
… in the mean time as the Irish Times haven’t responded to the opinion piece I sent them based on my chocolate cake/scrap & rework post I suppose I’ll have to tout it around the other papers… I’ll stick up the draft for reference here later today.