A new website has been launched which will enable Irish emigrants throughout the world to cast a ‘vote’ in the upcoming General Election.
BallotBox.ie is the brainchild of two Irish emigrants based in Toronto. The website will allow Irish citizens living outside of Ireland to cast a symbolic vote in the lead up to the election on February 25th.
Under current law in Ireland, Irish citizens living outside the State are unable to vote in elections. Only diplomats, politicians and people serving in the defense forces are allowed mark their ballot by postal vote, if they are abroad on election day.
By logging onto BallotBox.ie and registering their interest, Irish emigrants around the world can vote according to their constituency from next Tuesday, February 15.
Voting will continue for seven days and will close on the 22 of February, three days before the General Election in Ireland is held.
Co-Founder Brian Reynolds, originally from Co. Meath, told IrishCentral that the idea for the initiative came to him during his daily commute into the heart of Toronto.
“Standing on a packed streetcar on the way into work in Toronto, the thought struck me that so many of my Irish friends in Canada had become so engaged with the General Election campaign that it was a shame that their voices weren't going to be heard, their votes registered.
“The idea of a web based poll seemed the most obvious of choices, a few calls and the odd twist of an arm later and we had a cross Atlantic team of 5 or 6 set up and ready to go,” said Reynolds.
Voting will be based on the Irish voting system, proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote (PR-STV). IP technology will restrict those from residing in Ireland casting a vote. The website will also utilize email and SMS technology to prevent multiple voting.
“I find it amazing that once a person steps outside their country to find work abroad rather than depend on social welfare that the right to vote is taken away,” Reynolds added.
Testament to the vast Irish Diaspora around the globe, Reynolds says reaction so far to the website has been over whelming.
“It’s been seven days since the idea came into my head, and the response has been amazing. From the Philippines to Australia I have received offers of support with a number of companies offering their work and staff for free,” he told IrishCentral.
Ballotbox.ie was set up by young Irish emigrants in Canada and is run by an entirely voluntary staff in Toronto and Dublin. It has no political affiliations. To register your interest in BallotBox.ie please follow the links below.