Home | Contact Us

28 November 2020


NUI Seanad Éireann Election 2020 Information for Candidates

INTRODUCTION

The legislation governing the NUI Seanad Éireann elections stems from Bunreacht na hÉireann, Art. 18.4(i). The relevant acts may be referred to as the Seanad Electoral (University Members) Acts, 1937 – 2001.

For the convenience of prospective candidates an election pack of relevant documents for candidates is available for download which includes the following:

  1. Form of Nomination (Irish and English versions)

  2. A sample completed Form of Nomination

  3. An Post postal specification document for free postage scheme

  4. List of NUI member institutions

  5. Graduate Registration/Update Form (Irish and English versions)

  6. Frequently asked questions as listed below


All forms to which the FAQ section refers are contained in the election pack download

Download Seanad Éireann Election Pack for Candidates

 


NUI Seanad Éireann Election Candidates FAQ's


arrow Who is the Registration Officer in the NUI constituency?

The Registrar of NUI, Dr. Attracta Halpin is, ex officio, the Registration Officer.

arrow Who is the Returning Office for the NUI Seanad Éireann Elections?

The Senate has appointed Dr Maurice Manning, Chancellor NUI, as Returning Officer for the 2020 Seanad Éireann Election.

arrow When does the Seanad Éireann election take place?

The Seanad Election takes place whenever a General Election occurs, and within 90 days of the
dissolution of the Dáil.

arrow What institutions comprise the NUI constituency?

The Constituent Universities, Recognised Colleges and Colleges which were formerly Recognised Colleges (the latter only for the period when they were within the NUI federation) (list of NUI Institutions).

arrow Are all NUI graduates automatically eligible to vote in Seanad elections?

No. Graduates must be citizens of Ireland and must claim to be registered.
The register in use for the 2020 election is the register published on 1 June 2019.

 

NUI SEANAD ÉIREANN CANDIDATES

arrow 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)

arrow What does a candidate have to do?

A candidate has to be nominated, that is, must submit one completed Form of Nomination as prescribed on or before the date of close of nominations. Candidates may find it helpful to refer to sample of completed Form of Nomination (see candidate pack).

arrow Do candidates have to pay a deposit or other fee?

No.

 

NOMINATIONS

arrow What information is required in a Form of Nomination?

The candidate must give his/her 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)

He/She must have a Proposer and Seconder and Eight Assentors.
All ten must be registered NUI graduates (i.e. listed in the Seanad Éireann Register)

He/She must submit one completed Form of Nomination as prescribed. (see candidate pack)

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

Yes, an elector may act as proposer, seconder or assentor for up to three candidates.

arrow How does a candidate know the date of close of nominations?

The information will be available on the NUI website and will be published in the national press.
The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government will issue an Order, within a week of the dissolution of the Dáil, establishing three dates:

The last days on which the returning officers shall receive nominations in university constituencies shall be Friday 14 February 2020 at 12 midday.

  1. the date of close of nominations, usually approximately three weeks from the date of dissolution
  2. the date of issue (ie posting) of ballot papers
  3. the date of the election (close of poll)

arrow What happens on the day of Close of Nominations?

All duly completed Forms of Nomination must be received by the Returning officer at or before 12:00 noon at the NUI Office, 49 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 on the date of close of nominations.

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, will be invited to be present at the NUI Office on the day, and an information session for candidates and/or their agents will be held in NUI immediately following the close of nominations.

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

arrow 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 one o'clock in the afternoon 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."

 

AN POST FREE POSTAGE SCHEME FOR CANDIDATES' LITERATURE

arrow How does a candidate avail of the free postage scheme?

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 (see candidate pack)

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

 

THE BALLOT PAPER

arrow 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 (see candidate pack)."

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:

  1. 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)
  2. AND

  3. 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.

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

Ballot Papers are issued by registered post on the date set out in the Minister’s Order.

Because of the size of the two university electorates - currently 112,216 for NUI, and approximately 65,000 for University of Dublin (Trinity College) - 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.

Candidates and their Agents are entitled to attend at the issue of ballot papers.

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

The postperson will leave a docket informing the addressee that the post can be collected from the Post Office; if uncollected after three days, the envelope will be returned to NUI.

On request, the ballot paper will be re-sent, again by registered post, provided the original envelope has been returned undelivered to NUI.

The ballot paper will be re-sent to the same address unless the elector requests in writing/email (records@nui.ie, fax or ordinary post) that the returned ballot paper be re-sent to a different address.

Preferably changes of address should be notified to NUI well in advance of the issue of ballot papers.

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

The date of the close of poll will appear on the envelope sent to each elector and on the ballot paper itself.

Agents of the 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 NUI website.

The day and hour at which the poll in university constituencies shall be closed shall be the **

Votes must be returned by post


The NUI constituency Seanad Éireann Register


arrow What is the Seanad Register?

Seanad Éireann Information Leaflet

Click for larger PDF file

The Seanad Éireann Register contains a list of the names, addresses and qualifications of NUI graduates who registered to be included on the Register before 26 February 2019. These graduates may now vote in a Seanad Éireann election during the period 1 June 2019 – 30 May 2020. The Seanad Register may be used only for electoral purposes. An edited Seanad Éireann Register is also available. Both registers are available for purchase in hard or electronic copy from NUI.

The current Register, operative from 1st June 2019, contains the names of 112,216 electors. The cost of the 2019 Register is €169, either in hard or electronic copy.

NUI administers the Seanad Éireann Register and elections for the NUI constituency, in line with the requirements set down by the Seanad Electoral (University Members) Acts, 1937-2015.

Registration on the register is not automatic; graduates must claim to be registered. Claims/Registration forms must be received at the NUI Office by 26th February in any given year.

A handy leaflet explaining the registration process is available to download by clicking here.

If you have any other queries about the NUI Seanad Éireann Register of Electors, please do not hesitate to contact us at records@nui.ie or by phone at 01 439 2424


arrow How can I register on the NUI Seanad Éireann Electoral Register?

Graduates of the National University of Ireland who have received a degree (other than an honorary degree) and who are Irish citizens are eligible to vote in Seanad Éireann elections, once they are included in the University electoral register.

Download

The Seanad Éireann University Members Acts (1937-2015) stipulates the 26th February each year as the deadline for registration, for the Register that will be effective from 1st June of that year. Therefore registrations submitted after 26th February 2018 will added to the Register on 1st June 2019.

The form below may be used to register and should be completed in full and hand signed.

The form can then be scanned and attached to an email and sent to records@nui.ie or posted to
Records Office,
National University of Ireland,
49 Merrion Square,
Dublin 2, D02 V583,
Ireland.

Download Registration Claim / Graduate Update Form

pdf Irish Version: English Version:

Please download the pdf to your computer (right click and save) and complete the form using Adobe Reader as not all internet browsers support on screen completion of pdf documents

arrow How do I check if i am listed on the NUI Seanad Éireann register?

There is currently no provision in the Seanad Electoral (University Members) Acts, 1937-2015, for online registration or for checking the register online.

You can check if you are registered in a number of ways:

  1. Copies of the Seanad Éireann Electoral Register are available for review in the libraries of the NUI constituent institutions, the National Library of Ireland and in the reception of NUI offices, 49 Merrion Square, Dublin 2;
  2. Check with NUI via email records@nui.ie;
  3. Call NUI on (00353)(01) 439 2424.

To assist in identifying you on the register, please include the following information:

  1. Full name at time of graduation/registration;
  2. Any other form of name used (e.g. Irish, single, married, etc.);
  3. Any other name used during completion of degree;
  4. Date of Birth;
  5. NUI degree(s) and other NUI qualification(s);
  6. Year(s) of conferring(s) and NUI institution(s) where conferred;
  7. Previous address;
  8. Current address;

We will respond promptly to all enquiries.

arrow I am on the Register but I didn’t get a ballot paper in the last election.

Have you changed your address since you registered to be included on the Register?

If so please contact NUI to update your details.
If you are on the Register and didn't get your voting papers, the most likely reason is that we have an incorrect address on record for you.

Unless NUI, Merrion Square is informed of a change of address, voting papers are issued to the address on record.

arrow Once the Register has been published, is it possible to amend an address?

Yes, a graduate who is already registered may, at any time, ensure that his/her details are up-to-date.

The form below may be used and should be completed in full and hand signed.

The form can then be scanned and attached to an email and sent to records@nui.ie or posted to
Records Office,
National University of Ireland,
49 Merrion Square,
Dublin 2, D02 V583,
Ireland.

Download Registration Claim / Graduate Update Form

pdf Irish Version: English Version:

Please download the pdf to your computer (right click and save) and complete the form using Adobe Reader as not all internet browsers support on screen completion of pdf documents

arrow Are names ever removed from the Register?

YES

  1. on receipt of written request by a graduate to have his/her name removed;
  2. on receipt of notification of the death of a graduate;
  3. 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).

arrow If my name has been removed from the Register, can I still vote?

Only if you have re-registered in time to be included on the Register in use for the relevant Seanad election.

arrow Purchasing a copy of the NUI Seanad Éireann Register

By Order (S.I. No. 290 of 2000) of the then Minister of the Environment, Mr. Noel Dempsey, the following Regulation became effective from 21st September 2000:

The fee to be paid under paragraph (d) of Rule 15 of the First Schedule to the Act by an applicant for a copy of the revised[Seanad Éireann] register or any part thereof shall be fifty nine pence plus the sum of twelve pence for each one hundred by which the number of persons in the revised register or part thereof exceeds one hundred.
(Note: 59 pence = 75 cent; 12 pence = 15 cent)

The current Register, operative from 1st June 2019, contains the names of 112,216 electors.
Using the prescribed calculation*, the cost of the 2019 Register amounts to €169.00, either in hard or electronic copy.

*Number of 100’s, or part thereof, by which 112,216 exceeds 100 = 1122.
1122 x .15 = €168.30
+ €0.75
= €169.05
Cost of Register = €169.00 (Rounding)

Anyone purchasing a copy of the register must undertake to comply with the relevant provisions of the Irish Data Protection Act 2018 (and EU General Data Protection Regulations).

A form is available for this purpose from the NUI office.

The Seanad Register may be used only for electoral purposes.