Cian and Jen

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore will introduce a Bill tomorrow to remove the requirement for election candidates to publish their home address on nomination and ballot papers.

Deputy Whitmore said:

“Loss of privacy and safety is a legitimate concern for election candidates. The need for my Electoral (Home Address of Candidates) Bill 2024 is a sad reflection of the times we live in.

“This has been a bugbear of mine since I first ran for election in 2014. When you see your home address published on the ballot paper, it can make you feel quite vulnerable – particularly if you have young children.

“The landscape has changed considerably in recent years, with threats against those running for public office and elected representatives becoming more frequent and increasingly sinister in nature.

“The targeted harassment of public representatives has ranged from aggressive protests outside their homes to damage to property.

“There is heightened public awareness of the gendered nature of the abuse, with online attacks on female politicians often highly sexualised. If we want to encourage more women into politics, we need to do everything we can to protect them.

“Members of our migrant communities might also be deterred from running for public office if they are required to publish their address for fear of being targeted by far-right elements.

“My Bill proposes amendments to several pieces of legislation governing the conduction of elections to local authorities, Dáil Éireann, Seanad Éireann, the European Parliament and the Presidency. It seeks to end the practice of publishing candidates’ addresses on documentation available to the broader public, including nomination papers, ballot papers and postal ballots.

“To guarantee the full and fair participation of all members of society in the electoral process, we must ensure these steps are taken in the interest of candidates’ safety.”

February 27, 2024

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