Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that urgent consideration needs to be given to the introduction of voting technology in Dáil Eireann that can only be accessed by the individual members finger print. Deputy McGrath was speaking ahead of the statements that are expected to be made later today by the Ceann Comhairle with respect to the scandal that has emerged over senior members of the Fianna Fail frontbench who allegedly engaged in inappropriate parliamentary voting practices:
“The importance of maintaining the integrity of the parliamentary voting system cannot be underestimated.
That is why any action which undermines it must be treated with the utmost seriousness.
There is no doubting however that last week’s revelations and the excuses which have been offered have descended to the level of the farcical.
We are not talking here about an overly complex system; you sit in your seat and you vote Tá or Níl. It really is as simple as that.
If we have arrived at the stage where the people who put us here cannot trust our voting record on any given piece of legislation, then that is a very sad day.
As a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Procedure I am sure we will be giving the issue very serious consideration.
I am suggesting that we investigate the possibility of only allowing voting where a Members thumb or finger print is used to unlock their screen.
This is already widely available with mobile phone technology. There should be no issue in introducing it to the Dáil.
Failing that we could also revert to plain walk through votes, which though they would be far more time consuming would avoid the embarrassing scenarios we saw emerge from last week,” concluded Deputy McGrath.