From this morning on, Irish emigrants living abroad can cast a symbolic vote in the upcoming general election through BallotBox.ie.
Irish citizens living abroad can log into the website and register to vote by using their email address and passport number.
The site opened at 7 a.m. (EST) this morning and will remain open for seven days until Tuesday, February 22. A full list of constituencies and candidates will feature.
The results of the online symbolic election will be released shortly before the election in Ireland. People living in Ireland will be excluded from voting by the use of IP technology.
BallotBox.ie is the brainchild of two Irish emigrants based in Toronto.
Irish emigrants are disenfranchised once they leave the country. Unlike several other democracies, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., 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.
Speaking about the launch of Ballotbox.ie, Adrian Flannelly, founding member of the board of directors of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce USA, said it tied into the current immigration issues affecting Ireland.
“Many Irish people feel cheated by what has happened. Advances in new technology means that those who are most affected can have their say through BallotBox.ie,” he told Irish Central.
Welcoming the opening of the initiative, David McWilliams, economist and broadcaster, said, “It is vital that Ireland retains a connection with the Irish diaspora. Irish emigrants have a huge amount to offer in terms of getting our country up off its knees, and everything should be done to encourage their participation in our democracy. Ballotbox.ie is doing just that, and I urge any Irish citizens living outside the country to get along there and vote.”
Log onto www.ballotbox.ie to cast your vote.