Following a number of queries about getting a polling station for Pelletstown, myself and Cllr Roderic O'Gorman have finally had it confirmed that responsibility for this falls fully under Dublin City Council. This information brings us one step closer to addressing the issue of voter access for residents as the area is located North of the Royal Canal, at a boundary that lies in Dublin City Council but in the Dublin West Dail constituency . This has led to some ambiguity around which local authority could facilitate the much needed polling station.
Everyone should have the ability to access a polling station in your locality with reasonable ease. At the moment voters in Pelletstown must travel a significant distance just to take part in referendums and elections and this can impact voter turnout and participation. Roderic and myself have been working to identify which section of local government can address this issue.
Roderic wrote a number of times to the Dublin County Returning Officer suggesting a new polling station (the County Returning Officer looks after the Dublin West constituency) but this approach was unsuccessful. Our Green Party representatives in the Dail also put in a question to the Minister for Housing (who looks after electoral issues)but it was ruled out of order, as the selection of polling areas was deemed outside his responsibility. At the June 2018 Dublin City Council meeting, the Green Party councillor Ciaran Cuffe put a question to the City Manager on whether the County Sherriff could provide a new polling station in Pelletstown. Finally, in the last week, we’ve been officially informed by the County Returning Officer that responsibility for deciding on a new polling station rests with Dublin City Council and that they are specifically looking at the issue in Pelletstown.
Dublin City Council franchise section have now been tasked with considering this issue and are in the process of undertaking a review. Dublin City have just published a draft poll scheme and submissions are due before 15th December. https://consultation.dublincity.ie/city-managers/draft-polling-scheme-2018/