On the 25th of May, Ireland voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment to its Constitution which stated:
“The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”
The repeal had many people in Ireland and around the world wondering: Was this actually a fair vote?
Since the referendum, three Irish citizens have petitioned the Irish courts challenging the results, alleging “voters…were unable to vote due to de-registering.”
Joanna Jordan, Charles Byrne, and Ciaran Tracey have petitioned the president of the High Court, Justice Peter Kelly. Their hearing is scheduled for this coming Monday, June 11th.
Ms. Jordan believes many voters were unable to vote due to the “de-registering” of voters, even claiming religious people and the elderly were specifically targeted for “de-registering,” meaning when they showed up to vote they found out they were not in fact registered to vote.
Jordan further alleges until May 24th nowhere in Ireland did the polls favor a “repeal” vote. According to Jordan, a “foreign” journalist told her on May 24th —when polls were showing the majority of Irish people still in favor of “no” — the difference between the “yes” and “no” vote was 2.6%.
By the next day it was 20%. This shift, Jordan claims, is impossible, and she pleads with the courts to investigate. Jordan claims the number of “no” votes cast were not reported for every polling station. Misinformation or omissions could explain the dramatic shift of 2.6% to 20% difference between “yes” and “no” over the course of 24 hours.
Instead, Byrne claims the Referendum Commission’s information campaign and accompanying materials did not fully explain the effects (both legal and personal) repealing the Eighth Amendment would have and calls out Taoiseach and the Minister for Health for “misstating” information during the referendum.
Byrne says Taoiseach and the Minister for Health swayed the voters by statements of women who claimed the Eighth Amendment “endangered” their lives, and further alleges many non-citizens were able to vote and even received more than one voting card.
Tracey also calls for the Referendum Commission’s “misstatements” to be brought into consideration. Tracey states the Referendum Commission left out important information pertaining to the case of D v Ireland as well as the decision made by the European Court of Human Rights not to legalize the termination of a preborn child with fatal fetal abnormalities.