24 September 2023
By Tom Collins
The Green Party Representative for Cork City South East, Honore Kamegni, believes not enough is being done to inform any legally resident migrant over the age of 18 that they can vote in next year’s local elections.
Speaking of his experience while canvassing in Cork City South East, Honore said;
“On my journey out canvassing, I keep coming across something interesting. Too many immigrants and migrants don’t know they have the right to vote in the Local Elections. So, I bring a specific leaflet with me, which has a scanning code that gets them to Check the Register.
“I had to tell them that everyone living in Ireland has the right to vote in the Local Elections, including immigrants and migrants. All they need is their PPS number and a home address and the registration is very easily done online. Follow the instructions online and submit your registration at the end. They should then receive your voting card by post. When I am at the door, I check if they are registered to vote and show them the bit of paper with the scanning code on it. I am surprised that so many people think they don’t have the right to vote. so, it is good to be able to tell them this. They are very delighted when I explain things to them. Many will scan straight away with their phone and check in with the register:
“The work I am doing is very important for democracy because we have a major democratic deficit when so many people living in the city who have the right to vote don’t vote, aren’t registered to vote, and don’t even know they have the right to vote. In principle, I am making a difference already by encouraging everyone to register to vote, and in practice, this should change the city for the better because it will make election candidates start paying attention to the interests and needs of these people too.
“Now, these people may be overlooked or ignored if they do not appear on copies of the marked register of people who voted in previous elections. I have no doubt that the enfranchisement and registering of these people to vote will change the city and make its representation and decision making more relevant and responsive to the needs of all the people living here. As a result, we should see more consideration and better performance, in local service provision, including housing, roads, economic development, parks and so on.”