Some 243 Trinity students today registered to vote in the upcoming general election, after a registration drive run by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).
The two unions – accompanied by youth advocacy organisation Spunout, Newstalk and the National Youth Council of Ireland – were in the Arts Block from this morning registering students to vote ahead of a general election scheduled to take place on February 8th.
Speaking to The University Times this evening, TCDSU President Laura Beston said: “It was really good for us to collaborate with other youth organisations today as it gave us more strength in numbers to better provide for the students who are trying to get registered.”
“It was really great to see such a positive response from students. From just asking them about whether they had registered, there was a much higher uptake, and it was heartening to see people not needing to register because they were already on the register”, she added.
TCDSU will run another voter registration drive tomorrow in the Hamilton.
Unions across the country have been mobilising in the last week in order to register students ahead of the election, amid uncertainty over whether voters registered in the last year will automatically make it onto the register of electors by February 8th.
The register of electors does not automatically update until February 15th, meaning that there’s a risk many students may have to re-register if they want to vote.
Last week, speaking to The University Times, USI President Lorna Fitzpatrick said there is “no clarity” on whether the government will instruct local authorities to automatically transfer those who have registered in the last year onto the list.
“The fact of the matter is that we need to have some level of clarity on this”, Fitzpatrick said. “And the government needs to take action on this, to ensure that everybody has the chance to have their voice heard. People registered to vote in good faith, and to have their voices cut out because of a couple of days is ridiculous as far as we’re concerned.”