Gardaí in Sligo are investigating alleged electoral fraud in the Sligo-Leitrim constituency in the last general election.

The investigation relates to postal votes cast in the constituency.

Just under 61,000 votes were cast in the constituency in the general election of February 2020. Postal ballots accounted for just over a thousand of those votes.

The number of postal ballots cast in the constituency in the 2020 general election increased by 31% compared to the previous general election of 2016.

RTÉ News understands that gardaí have contacted registered postal voters in the constituency in the past number of weeks to ascertain if they cast their vote in that election.

It is understood that gardaí are investigating if they had registered to vote by post and if so, what their reason was for doing so.

Gardaí are believed to be focusing on postal ballots which were applied for and cast without the voter's knowledge.

Applicants for a postal vote on medical and disability grounds must submit a Medical Certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner.

This is not the first investigation into alleged voter fraud in the Sligo area.

In May 2019 the Fine Gael director of elections in Sligo-Leitrim made a complaint following a surge in the number of postal votes registered in the electoral area of Ballymote-Tubbercurry.

Gardaí say the matter remains the subject of an ongoing investigation.