THERE has been a call for a full Garda investigation into allegations that a large number of people may have been illegally added to the voting register in advance of next Friday’s local and European elections.
Gardai in Killarney have confirmed that concerns have been raised by one person that supplementary register forms may have been signed and stamped without the individual applicants being present as is required by law.
It would facilitate voters not registered prior to February 1 last to be added to the supplementary register to allow them to cast their votes next week.
Gardai have confirmed that concerns were raised by an individual and while it did not constitute a formal complaint, preliminary inquiries are being carried out.
Cllr Brendan Cronin told KillarneyToday.com that it very raises very serious legal issues regarding the validity of the supplementary register of voters in the Killarney municipal district.
He said in the event of a few votes separating candidates after the count, it is “wide open to legal challenge”.
“There is an immediate onus of responsibility on Kerry County Council and Killarney Gardai to fully investigate these serious allegations involving the register,” Cllr Cronin said.
“It is also vitally important for transparency to identify who organised and facilitated this alleged fraudulent act, as is has cast a shadow over the good name and character of all candidates going before the people in Killarney,” he stated.
Cllr Cronin said if the concerns are proven to be correct, it was a disgraceful act and he said he wanted to clarify and assure the public that he or anybody in his organisation was not in any way involved.
Killarney Sinn Féin candidate John Buckley, meanwhile, said allegations of tampering with the supplementary register proves once again that the electoral register system is not fit for purpose and should be modernised.
“The entire system is flawed and needs to be overhauled and brought up to modern standard where it’s linked to your PPSN and is automatically updated each year,” he said.
“This is not the first time that allegations of fraud have been made. Kerry County Council now need to clarify did they accept bulk applications from candidates and if they did they need to state what are the implications for those applications,” Mr Buckley said.
He added: “I can confirm that my party did not submit bulk applications to Kerry County Council.”
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