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February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Any Irish citizen who graduated from University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, or several other colleges in the Republic, has the right to a postal vote in the upcoming contest, even if they live outside of Ireland.
But many graduates who moved to the United States have forgotten to give a new address to the electoral office, in effect disenfranchising themselves.
Candidate Se_n O’Connor, a grandson of revered former Irish Taoiseach Se_n Lemass, yesterday issued a plea to Irish graduates now living in the U.S. to get on the register before it was too late. The Senate election is likely to take place in June following the D_il general election, but the deadline for changes of address is Feb. 26.
O’Connor, who is standing on a policy of electoral reform, said there were more than 5,000 registered overseas voters in his Trinity College constituency alone — but could not say how many of these addresses were still valid, or how many Trinity graduates were actually living in the United States.
Ireland remains one of the few countries in the world whose citizens abroad are not allowed to vote in general elections. The Irish Senate, while called the Upper House, in fact has less power than the D_il, the Lower House.

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