ANGER OVER
ELECTION JOBS

ARDEE Town Councillors are demanding an explanation as to why people who are already employed were given jobs at polling stations during the general election.

ARDEE Town Councillors are demanding an explanation as to why people who are already employed were given jobs at polling stations during the general election.

Some staff employed during the election earned 350 Euro a day.

Cllr Jim Tenanty said many people voting in the election were incensed that those who were asking them for identification were holding down jobs or had retired on good pensions.

“People are very concerned,” he said, “and they were very angry when they went into the polling stations and saw employed people doing this work when members of their own families were struggling to find work.

“It was galling for them to see someone who has a job getting this work while others have no job and are having to emigrate.

“The public are asking us how are these jobs handed out.

“People go the polling station, and are asked for the name and details by people who are already employed or retired on a good pension.

“They all seem to be already employed or retired. “I would ask for these appointments to be given to people who have no jobs.

“There are people who are in good full-time employment and take time off for this one day. The work should be given to the unemployed.

“People should be taken from the live register and given this work,” he said.

Several councillors said the work goes to civil servants or civil servants who have retired with large pensions or retired schoolteachers.

Cllr Pearse McGeough said a letter should be sent to the County Registrar asking what the procedure is for recruiting staff at polling booths during general and local elections.

Cllr Padraig McKenny said somebody who has an income, or retired on a good pension, or in receipt of a pension should be exempt from being employed during an election.

The councillors were also concerned about people in care who had been struck off the voting registrar.

“It was such a downer for these people,” Cllr Tenanty said.

Cllr Fintan Malone agreed and said these people should be able to vote.

Louth County Council Director of Services, Mr Joe McGuinness, told the councillors that if people in care are entitled to a vote, they have a right to exercise that vote.

Cllr Tenanty pointed out that two people had been taken off the register and this had not been carried out by the registration authority.

Mr McGuinness said they could be entitled to a postal vote.

Cllrs Tenanty and Malone said these people did not want a postal vote. They wanted to go out on the day and exercising their franchise.