The Irish website Ballotbox.ie has renewed calls for Irish emigrants to be allowed to vote in the upcoming Irish presidential election.
The move came as the website launched a new Ballotbox.ie election, in which members of the Irish Diaspora can cast a symbolic vote for a candidate in the Irish presidential race.
Speaking with IrishCentral, co-founder of Ballotbox.ie, Brian Reynolds, described the huge demand amongst Irish emigrants to play a more active role in Irish politics.
“We are relaunching Ballotbox.ie for the presidential election due to demand from many emigrants who are still desperate to be involved in the future of their country,” he said.
In a statement released on Friday, the election’s organizers lamented that “there has been little progress in the fight for voting rights for Irish people abroad.”
But allowing the Irish Diaspora a greater say in the country’s politics could also prove beneficial to Ireland, Mr. Reynolds explained.
“Keeping recent emigrants involved and with a proper say in how Ireland is run keeps them involved and much more likely to return home with brand new skills and new ideas,” he said.
“With so much talk and so many forums taking place around the theme of how the Irish abroad can help Ireland, it seems the government, like its predecessor is failing to see that part of the solution is staring them in the face.”
The online vote, which opens on Tuesday, comes eight months after the website’s General Election 2011 accurately predicted that Fine Gael would come out on top, but fail to win an overall majority.