Digital Media Design
Assignment 1 – CS4566 Requirements Engineering
To begin my assignment on how I could better implement the registration system here in Ireland, I
firstly took a deep look into how one can become registered to vote here in Ireland, and the different
forms of registering. The two chosen concepts I came up with which I thought might make it easier to
increase the numbers of registered voters are below:
1.) To higher the age for voting to 21.
2.) Automatic registration through education and/or Age Card.
My chosen interviewee is a 20 year old female committee member of the UL Ogra Fianna Fáil society.
The first five questions I asked were based on the concept of upping the age of registration to 21, to
my surprise I found this to be much more frowned upon than expected, although my guest agreed,
“While voter turnout in the 18-25 categories is the lowest across all voting age groups it would be fair
to conclude that only those with an interest in politics actually vote and wouldn't impact the majority of
Yet bringing the limit up to 21 would bring mainly disadvantages and result in young people losing
interest in politics, she also feels the majority of the Country would disprove of raising the age to
“As we associate the age of voting with 18, and as there is already an active campaign to lower the
voting age to 16.”
Whist I assured her that anyone registered with a political youth group could achieve the right to
register and vote at 18, my interviewee even as a committee member of a political youth group herself
was honest in the matter that,
“Youths would join parties based on what there friends were in giving the larger youth parties ‘Ogra
Fianna Fáil’ and ‘Young Fine Geal’ an unfair electoral advantage.”
And that joining a political youth group still isn’t enough to implement a young person’s decision on
“They merely act as a discussion form and social outlet although they do hold various workshops they
offer little in the way of educational benefit.”
Seeing the decision to raise the age of registration to 21 become a more disfavoured idea in changing
the age of registration, and the backing of joining a political youth group to register at 18 being too
biased amongst friends, I based my second round of questions on the idea of Automated Registration
through educational systems and/or Age Card. My interviewee was more persuaded towards this
concept and agreed it would definitely improve the way in which we become registered. My guest
wasn’t too convinced on the Age Card idea as she felt it was pushing towards the means of having to
pay for the right to register as you are required to have an Age Card once turned 18, however she
was completely on-board with the idea of automated registration through an educational system as
she based her answer on the poor turnout of the Children’s Referendum,
“We saw a very poor turnout for the children's referendum last November, while this could be
attributed to a number of reasons. I believe automatic registration would lead to a rise in voter turnout
and electoral support on nations and international issues. We as a nation would be more involved in
She agrees that the main reason behind the lowest number of registered residents being in the 18-25
year olds categories is that,
“Most students don't bother to register because they either don't know how or they attend a college to
far from home to be able to travel home to vote.”
To summarise and conclude my interview, I was left with a near 50/50 agreement. Although the
proposal of raising the right to register to 21 with the acceptance of being a register political youth
member at 18 didn’t win much appeal, we we’re both in acceptance of the fact that the registration
system should be that of an automated one through the educational system for students, or instead of
using an Age Card due to the implement of ‘paying for your right to vote’, there could be another form
of automatic registration for non-student’s such as going through the welfare system or the newly
instated E-card which is to be hopefully rolled out by 2015.
Upon reading the background information provided by my lecturer, I have come across the various
problems one may encounter when it comes to registering their right to vote. I have learnt that there is
more than just one Register. There are two different forms a resident of eligibility can register for, a
Full Register allowing the right to vote in official elections, and an Edited Register allowing for
commercial use towards the registrant.
Forms of Registering:
All residents once turned 18 years of age have from November 1
until February 15
to register for
voting, failing this, you have from then until 15 days before an election to achieve a supplementary
Registration (RFA2) once witnessed by a Garda to vote for an upcoming election or proposal in their
area. If an already registered voter in one County, may now be residing in a different area meaning
voting for them could become a journey they can apply for the RFA3 form (Supplementary Change of
Address). To enquire if you are already registered to vote can be done in many ways, from checking
into your local Post office, Garda Station and even Public Library, to simply going online.
Although registration becomes available by the age of 18, it has come to my attention that the majority
of young people between 18 and 23 are in fact either un-registered as it has never crossed their mind
to do so, or feel they may not have enough experience in any political field or background to have a
clear understanding in voting.
Below are my propositions on the reorganising of ones right to vote:
1. 21 should be the minimum age to vote, unless from the age of 18 you are involved
and registered in a youth group of political relations.
2. Residents should be automatically registered at 21 through an academic system if
furthering their education, or through the process of an Age Card when education has ceased.
• Voters are older and more mature in their decision to vote.
• A better quality over quantity of voting.
• Votes are casted by registrants who have a better understanding and knowledge of
the election taking place.
• Every resident of the country will be legally registered.
• Hassle free registration process means everyone over 21 will be automatically
• Automatic registration means no excuses for being unregistered.
• Automated registration increases numbers and national backing.
• Newly resided members eligible to vote in Ireland must require an Age Card through
• If studying in a different County to that you reside in you can still vote through your
• Reduction of registered voters by 3 years.
• Must be registered with a political youth group to seek eligibility to vote at 18.
• Youth groups act more of a social forum as opposed to political awareness.
• Young people could be biased in picking a political youth group based on where their
friends join, giving unfair popularity to more established groups.
• Requiring an Age Card would take away your right to a free vote.
When a country asks for your opinion on how it should be run and by who, I feel 18 is too young an
age for one who may even still be in school to depict a Countries future. For this reason I believe 21
should be the age a resident can avail of the opportunity to cast their vote as it is looked upon as an
age of maturity. However it is understandable that no two people are the same, or carry the same
interests, so with the exception that a resident between the ages of 18 – 21 has a strong interest in
the running of their Country, they may participate with a local Government run youth society much like
those in Universities and Colleges around Ireland to waver their right to vote between 18 and 21 years
If a resident is currently furthering their education on turning 21, they will be automatically registered
to vote through the students’ academic administration office, This way a student living in one County,
and studying in another can now automatically become registered to vote through the college they are
studying in until either graduation or termination of their education, where they will then return to
voting in their home area. Once the student’s education has finished, the academic administrations
will pass over a Supplementary Change of Address style register back to the ex-students local
If upon turning 21, the resident has ceased education, they will be automatically registered from
receiving their Age Card through their local Garda Station at the age of 18.
1. What is your opinion on making 21 the legal age for registering?
2. What are the main advantages/disadvantages of raising the age limit to 21?
3. Do you think the majority of the Country would agree with changing the age requirement from
18 to 21?
4. How do you feel about allowing only registered political youth group members vote at 18?
5. Do you agree joining a political youth group would benefit in educating younger people about
6. How do you feel about bringing in an automated registration system through education or by
requiring an Age Card?
7. What are the main advantages/disadvantages of implementing an automated registration
system through education or by requiring an Age Card?
8. Do you think more people would be inclined to vote if automatically registered?
9. Based on your own knowledge of manually registering, do you feel there would be much
complication in becoming automatically registered?
10. For non-students, do you think using an Age Card is the best form of ID for being
automatically registered to vote?