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'We don’t really simplify things that are straightforward': Ballot papers cause confusion

The green and white papers caused a bit of confusion yesterday.

THERE HAVE BEEN widespread reports that ballot papers in the two referendums held yesterday caused confusion for some voters.

Voters were given two ballot papers when they went to their polling stations yesterday with green for the Court of Appeal referendum and white for the Seanad abolition vote.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, the Fine Gael chairman Charlie Flanagan, a TD for Laois Offaly, said that many constituents reported to him that they were confused by the papers.

On Morning Ireland, Flanagan said: “We’ve really got to go back to the drawing board.”

“There was an element of confusion and I think the element of confusion is borne out in the wording of the ballot paper, ” he said noting the inclusion of Irish on the paper was not helpful.

It is a legal requirement that the wording of the actual amendment to the Constitution that is being proposed must appear on the ballot paper:

imagePic: Photocall Ireland

“We don’t really simplify things that are straight-forward,” Flanagan said calling for the establishment of a permanent Referendum Commission.

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He also said that he would now be reconsidering his call for a ‘Constitution Day’ where several referendums would be held on the one day given the holding of two yesterday caused confusion.

On the same programme Sinn Féin senator David Cullinane said the government’s campaign had been “a shambles”.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan said this week he hopes to bring about the establishment of a permanent Referendum Commission at some point in this government’s term.

LIVEBLOG: Counting under way in Seanad and Court of Appeal referendums

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Hugh O'Connell

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