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Seanad Elections 2020

For the Seanad Éireann Election 2020 (University of Dublin Constituency) the relevant dates are as follows:

Close of Nominations - 14 February 2020 @ 12 Noon

Issue of Ballot Papers - 28 February 2020

Close of Poll - 31 March 2020 at 11:00am

(votes must be returned by post)

Graduates of the University of Dublin who have received a degree (other than an honorary degree) or who have obtained a foundation scholarship in the University, and who are Irish citizens are eligible to vote in Seanad Éireann elections. It is however essential that you are included in the University of Dublin Seanad Éireann electoral register (‘register of electors’) and that your postal address details are up to date.

In line with legislation, the 2019 register of electors (published on 1 June 2019) will be used for the conduct of the forthcoming election in 2020.

Only graduates whose names appear in the current register are eligible to participate at the time of an election.

Voting papers are issued by registered post to all registered electors, no matter where in the world you live.

Publication of Ministerial Order (EU17) 

EU Section 17 - DU Publication of Ministerial Order

Seanad Election 2020 FAQs

Seanad Election FAQs What is the University of Dublin Seanad Éireann electoral register?

The University of Dublin Seanad Éireann electoral register (‘Register of Electors’) is a list of the names, addresses and awards of Trinity College Dublin degree graduates (other than honorary graduates) or those who have obtained a foundation scholarship in the university, who are citizens of Ireland and who have claimed to be registered to vote in the Seanad Éireann University of Dublin constituency. The Register of Electors is revised annually, for publication each year on 1st June, to include the names of graduates who have submitted registration claim forms by the 26th February in that year.

What is the criteria to be eligible to vote in the University of Dublin constituency in the Seanad Éireann election?

Every person who is a citizen of Ireland and has been admitted to a degree (other than an honorary degree) by the University of Dublin or has obtained a foundation scholarship in that University is entitled to be registered as an elector in the Seanad Éireann University of Dublin constituency.

The right to vote is not automatic; it must be claimed. The right to vote is not automatic; it must be claimed. Graduates with a Trinity degree can claim their right to be added to the Register when they are responding to the invitation to graduate. In addition to this, graduates can complete the on-line claim form here. All claims to be included in the Register must be received by 26th February in any given year for inclusion in the Register of Electors published on the 1st June of that year. It is only necessary to register once unless, for one of the reasons given below, a name has been removed from the Register of Electors.

What Register of Electors will be used for the Spring 2020 Seanad Election?

The 2019 Seanad Éireann Register of Electors will be used for the forthcoming Seanad Éireann election.

How can I check if I am on the current Register of Electors?

The Register of Electors is available for consultation at the Academic Registry, Watts Building (9.00 am to 5pm, Monday to Friday). An elector may ensure that their details are up-to-date in person, by phone at 00353 (0)1 896 4500 or by email to academic.registry@tcd.ie How can I update my contact details once I am on the Register of Electors? An elector may, at any time, update their details by submitting a request to the Academic Registry, either by email at academic.registry@tcd.ie or in person. Unless we are informed of a change of address, voting papers will go to the address on record.

Why am I not on the Register of Electors?

The right to vote is not automatic; it must be claimed. Graduates with a Trinity degree can claim their right to be added to the Register when they are responding to the invitation to graduate. In addition to this, graduates can complete the on-line claim form here. All claims to be included in the Register must be received by 26th February in any given year for inclusion in the Register of Electors published on the 1st June of that year. It is only necessary to register once unless, for one of the reasons given below, a name has been removed from the Register of Electors.

I didn’t receive my ballot in the last election -Can I update my address on the current Register of Electors?

Yes, an elector may ensure that their details are up-to-date in person, or by email to academic.registry@tcd.ie. Unless we are informed of a change of address, voting papers will go to the address on record. How do I apply to be on the Register of Electors? The right to vote is not automatic; it must be claimed. Graduates with a Trinity degree can claim their right to be added to the Register when they are responding to the invitation to graduate. In addition to this, graduates can complete the on-line claim form here.

All claims to be included in the Register must be received by 26th February in any given year for inclusion in the Register of Electors published on the 1st June of that year. It is only necessary to register once unless, for one of the reasons given below, a name has been removed from the Register of Electors.

When are names removed from the Register of Electors?

Names are removed:

• on receipt of written request by a graduate to have their name removed;

• on receipt of notification of the death of a graduate; • as provided by the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2001: ‘after reasonable enquiry by the registration officer, whose address or the address to which the ballot paper is to be sent is unknown’. (S. 56).

If my name is removed from the Register of Electors can I still vote?

You can apply to re-register and will be eligible to vote only if your name is published in the Register of Electors being used for any given election. Register of Electors is published on 1st of June each year.

Can I purchase a copy of the Register of Electors?

Anyone can request to purchase a copy of the Register of Electors for statutory purposes only and upon adherence to the provisions of the GDPR and the Data Protection Acts (1988 to 2018). The Register of Electors is provided in electronic format only on submission of the purchase form and full receipt of payment.

The cost is calculated based on a set formula as prescribed in the legislation. The cost of the 2019 Register of Electors is €96.75 made payable by debit credit card. Enquiries in relation to purchasing the Register of Electors can be made in person, by phone at 00353 (0)1 896 4500 or by email to academic.registry@tcd.ie

Who can be a candidate?

‘A person to be eligible for membership of Seanad Éireann must be eligible to become a member of Dáil Éireann’. Bunreacht na hÉireann, Art. 18.2 (Every citizen without distinction of sex who has reached the age of twenty-one years, and who is not placed under disability or incapacity by this Constitution or by law, shall be eligible for membership of Dáil Éireann. Bunreacht na hÉireann, Art. 16.1)

What does a candidate have to do?

A candidate has to be formally nominated, that is, must submit one fully completed hard copy Form of Nomination on or before the date of close of nominations (12 noon on Friday, 14th February 2020).

Do candidates have to pay a deposit or other fee?

No.

What information is required in a Form of Nomination?

The candidate must give their name and address, and a description, which, ‘in the opinion of the Returning Officer, is calculated sufficiently to identify the candidate’. (Seanad Electoral (University Members) Act, 1937).

Candidates: must:

• have a Proposer, Seconder and Eight (8) Assentors all of whom must be registered voters in the Register being used for any given election.

• submit one completed Form of Nomination. Note: Candidates are encouraged liaise with the Academic Registry in order to confirm that their Proposer, Seconder and Eight Assentors are included in the Register being used for the purposes of election.

May a registered graduate be Proposer, Seconder or Assentor for more than one candidate?

Yes, an elector may act as Proposer or Seconder or Assentor for up to three candidates (i.e. as many candidates as there are seats available). How does a candidate know the date of close of nominations? As per the Ministerial Order for the Seanad Election 2020, the last day on which the Returning Officers shall receive nominations in university constituencies shall be Friday 14 February 2020 at 12 midday.

The information will be available on the Trinity College Dublin website. What happens on the day of Close of Nominations?

All duly completed Forms of Nomination must be received by the Returning Officer on or before 12:00 noon at the Global Room, Watts Building, Trinity College Dublin on the date of close of nominations (14th February 2020).

While the Form of Nomination may be received prior to the official date, in any event all prospective candidates and/or, where relevant, their agents, known to us in advance will be informed of the place, and time of proceedings.

The relevant officials from An Post will be invited to provide information to potential candidates, and answer any queries about the free mailing-out of candidates’ election material.

Can anyone object to a Form of Nomination?

Yes.

Any objections to a Form of Nomination will be considered and ruled upon by the Returning Officer not later than 1 pm on the last day for receiving nominations. ‘The ruling of the Returning Officer on an objection to a Form of Nomination or on any other question arising in relation to the nomination of the candidates shall be final and shall not be open to review by any Court.’

What is the format of the Ballot Paper?

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order on the ballot paper. Name, address and description (as stated in the respective Forms of Nomination) are required. A candidate may, but is not required, to include a photograph; where a candidate chooses to use a photograph, it must be delivered with the completed Form of Nomination. Note: Section 56(d) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2001 amended section 20 of the Seanad Electoral (University Members) Act 1937 to allow for the inclusion of a photograph of the candidate on the ballot paper in a Seanad election.

The Seanad Electoral (University Members) (Prescribed Matters) (Amendment) Regulations 2002, as amended by the Seanad Electoral (University Members) (Prescribed Matters) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 set out the required specification of a photograph for inclusion on a ballot paper. If a candidate wishes to have his or her photograph included on the ballot paper, they must provide with the nomination paper:

• A photograph in digitised format (passport size – 35mm x 45mm);

AND

• Two identical printed copies of the photograph. The photograph must be taken not more than 12 months prior to the day for the closing of the poll and must be of good quality, in colour and taken to a professional standard, showing the candidate’s full face, head and shoulders only, on a light background (any colour). Each printed copy of the photograph must have the candidate’s name clearly shown on the back.

If the above requirements are not complied with, the Returning Officer may not include the photograph on the ballot paper. In these circumstances, or if no photograph is supplied, the space for the candidate’s photograph will be left blank on the ballot paper.

THE ONUS IS ON THE CANDIDATE TO MEET THESE REQUIREMENTS

How and when will the ballot papers be sent to the electorate?

Voting Papers are issued by registered post on the date set out in the Minister’s Order (i.e. 28th February 2020). Because of the size of the two university electorates, delivery of the registered post may take a number of days from the date of issue. Delivery of ballot papers sent to addresses overseas may be slower, depending on local postal services.

What happens if the elector is not at the address to sign for the registered post?

A delivery notice will be left informing the addressee that the undelivered post can be collected from a designated Post Office; if uncollected after three days, the envelope will be returned to Trinity. On request by the addressee, the ballot paper will be re-issued, again by registered post, provided the original ballot paper has been returned undelivered and received by Trinity. The ballot paper will be re-issued to the same address unless the elector requests in writing (email: academic.registry@tcd.ie or by post) that the ballot paper be re-issued to a different address.

To ensure that you receive your ballot paper when issued on February 28, address changes should be notified to Trinity’s Academic Registry before Wednesday, February 12.

How will a candidate or an elector know the date, time and place of the close of poll?

The day and hour at which the poll in university constituencies shall close is 11 am on Tuesday, 31st March 2020 in respect of the forthcoming election.

The date of the close of poll will appear on the envelope sent to each elector and on the ballot paper itself. Candidates will be notified in writing of the time and place at which the count will take place. The information will also be available on the Trinity College Dublin website.

Votes must be returned by post. Further information available on the University’s social media channels (#TCDSeanad) and https://www.tcd.ie/academicregistry/graduation/seanad-eireann/seanadelection-2020/

University of Dublin Senators

Of the sixty members of Seanad Éireann, three are elected by graduates of the University of Dublin. At present, the three current University of Dublin senators are Senator Ivana Bacik, Senator David Norris, and Senator Lynn Ruane.

Information for Candidates

Information for Candidates
Please see below information for individuals interested in standing as a candidate for the University of Dublin panel.

Membership to Seanad Éireann is open to all Irish citizens over 21, but a senator cannot also be a member of Dáil Éireann.

As the 2020 Register of Electors will not be published before the conduct of the forthcoming election to Seanad Éireann, the 2019 Register of Electors will be used for the conduct of this election.  The closing date to make an application for inclusion on the 2019 Register was February 26, 2019.

NOMINATION REQUIREMENTS
The candidate must give their name and address, and a description, which, ‘in the opinion of the Returning Officer, is calculated sufficiently to identify the candidate’. (Seanad Electoral (University Members) Act, 1937).
Candidates must:

  • have a Proposer, Seconder and eight (8) Assentors all of whom must be registered voters in the Register of Electors being used for any given election.
  • submit one completed Form of Nomination.

Note: Candidates are encouraged liaise with the Academic Registry in order to confirm that their Proposer, Seconder and Eight Assentors are included in the Register being used for the purposes of election. 

PHOTO REQUIREMENTS
Section 56(d) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2001 amended section 20 of the Seanad Electoral (University Members) Act 1937 to allow for the inclusion of a photograph of the candidate on the ballot paper in a Seanad election. The Seanad Electoral (University Members) (Prescribed Matters) (Amendment) Regulations 2002, as amended by the Seanad Electoral (University Members) (Prescribed Matters) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, set out the required specification of a photograph for inclusion on a ballot paper. 

If a candidate wishes to have his or her photograph included on the ballot paper, they must provide with the nomination paper:

  • A photograph in digitised format (passport size – 35mm x 45mm)

 
 AND

  • Two identical printed copies of the photograph.

 
The photograph must be taken not more than 12 months prior to the day for the closing of the poll and must be of good quality, in colour and taken to a professional standard, showing the candidate’s full face, head and shoulders only, on a light background (any colour).

Each printed copy of the photograph must have the candidate’s name clearly shown on the back.

If the above requirements are not complied with, the returning officer may not include the photograph on the ballot paper. In these circumstances, or if no photograph is supplied, the space for the candidate’s photograph will be left blank on the ballot paper.
THE ONUS IS ON THE CANDIDATE TO MEET ALL REQUIREMENTS.

Nomination Form:
EU 1 Nomination Form (Gaelige)
EU 1 Nomination Form (Gaelige – Sample Completed)
EU 1 Nomination Form (English)
EU 1 Nomination Form (English – Sample Completed)

CLOSE OF NOMINATIONS
As per the Public Notice, the last day for receiving nominations, together with the required digital photograph and 2 identical printed copies of the photograph, is Friday, February 14, 2020 in the Trinity Global Room, Watts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, from 10 am to 12 noon.  Please note the photographic requirements detailed on EU1 form above.

Every candidate nominated by a nomination paper, and their proposer, seconder and one other person nominated by him/her and no other persons (except assistants employed by the Deputy Returning Officer, Leona Coady, (or her nominee))  shall be entitled to attend the proceedings during the receipt of, and ruling upon the nomination papers.

Please note that the completed Form of Nomination may be submitted to the Academic Registry at any time prior to February 14, 2020 for verification by the office prior to formal adjudication on the last day for receipt of nominations; we strongly encourage you to avail of this service in advance to ensure the correctness of the completed nomination form.   Also, we request that the details of the proposer, seconder, and assentors are provided to us in MS Word or MS Excel to facilitate identification and verification of details against the 2019 Register.

Any objections to a nomination paper should be made to the Deputy Returning Officer (or her nominee) between 10 am and 12 noon on February 14 and will be considered and ruled upon by the Deputy Returning Officer (or her nominee) during or as soon as possible following this period but not later than 1 pm on February 14.

A candidate may before 1 pm on February 14 (and not later), withdraw from his/her candidature by delivering a notice to that effect, signed by him/her, to the Deputy Returning Officer (or her nominee).

If at 1pm on February 14 more candidates stand nominated than there are vacancies to be filled, the Deputy Returning Officer (or her nominee) shall adjourn the election and take a poll in accordance with the Seanad Electoral (University Members) Act, 1937. 

Following closure of the proceedings a press release will be issued by the University.

 

Purchasing the Register

Anyone can request to purchase a copy of the 2019 University of Dublin Seanad Éireann electoral register for statutory purposes only and upon adherence to the provisions of the GDPR and the Data Protection Acts (1988 to 2018).  The register is provided in electronic format only on submission of the purchase form. 

The cost is calculated based on a set formula as prescribed in the legislation and currently costs the sum of €96.75 made payable by card or cheque “TCD #1 Account”.  Enquiries in relation to purchasing the register can be made, by phone at 00353 (0)1 896 4500 or by email to academic.registry@tcd.ie.


Litir Um Thoghchan – Free postage Scheme

Candidates in the Seanad elections can avail of the An Post Litir Um Thoghchan scheme in which election material will be mailed to constituents for any interested candidate in the election, free of charge.  Candidates will deal directly with An Post.
Each candidate is responsible for the production and printing of his/her own election material for this purpose.

The material must be in accordance with An Post’s specifications.
Free Post Scheme Specifications
Print Companies Contact Details

All other mailing of campaign material, plus design, printing and packing, are at the discretion of the candidate and at his/her own expense.

An Post Contact Details:

Myles Burke
An Post (Strategic Account Manager)
087-8508760 
myles.burke@anpost.ie

Damien Murray
An Post (Strategic Account Manager)
087-8508758 
damien.murray@anpost.ie

If you have any queries in relation to the Seanad Éireann University of Dublin constituency, please contact DU Seanad Support in the Academic Registry, in person in the Watts Building, by email at academic.registry@tcd.ie or by phone at +353 (0)1 896 4500.