22/05/2009

Electoral Observers To Monitor EC Poll

The Electoral Commission will be accrediting electoral observers for the first time in Northern Ireland.

The announcement was made this week for those who wish to attend and monitor proceedings at next month's European Parliamentary elections. Individuals and groups with members over 16 years-of-age can be accredited as electoral observers, which will give them access to polling stations, the issuing and receipt of ballot papers, and the count.

The scheme has been introduced to improve the openness and transparency of Northern Ireland's electoral system.
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Seamus Magee, Head of the Electoral Commission's office in Northern Ireland, said: "Individuals and groups with members over the age of 16 can, for the first time, play an active part in our democratic process.

"It is an important move which demonstrates our commitment to ensuring integrity and transparency in the election process."

The Commission has produced a Code of Practice to regulate the attendance of all observers at such proceedings for organisations and individuals keen to take part in any election or referendum that takes place in Northern Ireland, details of which, along with an application form, are available on Electoral Commission

(BMcC/JM)

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