Live coverage of the Irish presidential election on IrishCentral - Friday, October 28th
Labor candidate Michael D Higgins has won the symbolic online presidential election, hosted by BallotBox.ie, with 40 percent of the first preference votes. Over 2,500 Irish emigrants around the world voted in the online poll, which ran for six days.
Senator David Norris came in second with 24 percent , followed by Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness in third with 18 percent. Sean Gallagher finished fifth with 10 percent while both Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell and Independent Mary Davis came in with three percent. Dana Rosemary Scallon came in with just 1 percent of the vote.
Voters from over 97 countries contributed, with the UK, the U.S, Australia, Canada, and Germany providing the most votes. Other votes came from Estonia, Malawi, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.
Some 2,581 Irish emigrants logged on over the six day period to cast their virtual vote. IP technology and passport information was used to block voters in Ireland.
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Founded by Irish emigrants, the organizers of BallotBox.ie said on Tuesday that they had received an overwhelming response from Irish emigrants throughout the world.
Current Irish law doesn’t cater for Irish citizens residing abroad to cast a vote. In response to this, BallotBox.ie was founded in the run up to the Irish general election to offer Irish emigrants a symbolic vote.
“We are just happy to have the support and to realize we are not the only Irish citizens who are missing polling day,” co-founder Brian Reynolds told the IrishCentral.
Ballotbox.ie advocates a change in the law so that recent emigrants who have been resident in Ireland within the past 5, 10, or 15 years retain their vote.