Thursday election would deliberately exclude student voters – USI

The Union of Students in Ireland has said that holding the general election on a Thursday would deliberately exclude students from exercising their constitutional right to vote and is calling on the Taoiseach hold the election on a Friday as in 2011. The call comes in light of reports that  Fine Gael are actively considering holding the election on a Thursday, partially to allow those travelling to a Six Nations match in London on Saturday 27th February to vote.

The USI says that holding the election on a Thursday would mean that those studying and working away from home would find it very difficult to vote. President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Kevin Donoghue said “Many students would have to travel from college to their homes to vote and holding the vote on a Thursday has in the past proved to make that much harder.”

“The idea that political leaders would seek to exclude thousands of enthusiastic students from voting, in order to accommodate fans travelling to London, who would be taking an active decision not to vote, is extremely disappointing to our membership. We have registered tens of thousands of young people to vote in the last year and this kind of behaviour is exactly the reason young people are so disenfranchised with politics.”

Last week the USI hosted a series of debates on the major issues for them in the run up to the general election. The debates were held in Cork, Galway and Dublin and is part of a wider campaign by the USI to engage young people in the political process.

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