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SpunOut.ie & USI organise second annual Voter Registration Day

Blog Posts April 23rd2015

SpunOut.ie, Ireland’s Youth Information Website, and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have today (April 23) joined forces to run a second ‘National Voter Registration Day’. The initiative is calling on young people to make sure that they are registered to vote in the upcoming referendums on marriage equality and presidential candidate age on May 22.

In 2014, SpunOut.ie and USI came together for a registration drive, which added 22,000 young people to the register of electors. Today, the two organisations are running another drive to add young people to the supplementary voting register before the deadline of May 5.

Registering on the supplementary register is a four step process:
1.     Visit checktheregister.ie and download the ‘RFA 2’ form (Download the ‘RFA 3” form if you want to change your address)
2.     Print the form and fill it in correctly
3.     Get the form stamped at your local Garda Station
4.     Post the form to your local authority franchise department, who need to have it before May 5.

The registration process will be highlighted to an online audience through a campaign using the hashtag #VoterRegDay and will be supported by a number of high profile ambassadors including TV and Radio Presenter Blathnaid Treacy, Irish Olympian Jessie Barr and Irish Times Journalist Una Mullally.

Volunteers across the USI network will form outreach teams to get people registered throughout April on the campuses of third level colleges. Campuses will include Dundalk IT, Cork IT, IT Blanchardstown and Trinity College. 
If you would like to help make a difference, a Voter Registration Volunteer Handbook is available to download at SpunOut.ie/vote to make it as simple as possible to get friends, family members and colleagues registered before it is too late.

“By voting we are paving the path for our own futures. This is why voting in the upcoming marriage referendum and presidential candidacy age referendum is so important. By registering to vote, young people are putting their future in their hands. Young people matter and we need to have our voices heard,” said James Bohan (19), SpunOut.ie Volunteer.

President of the Union of Students Ireland, Laura Harmon, said “USI is delighted to partner with SpunOut.ie for our National Voter Registration Day. We are delighted that 22,000 students have registered to vote since last November and we hope to register thousands more by the deadline on May 5th. Many young people are registering to vote for the first time and the issue of marriage equality in particular has really galvanized young people to become engaged and eager to have their voices heard. It's vital that we keep promoting information on how to register to vote and reminding people of the deadlines involved.”

A 2014 poll1 showed that over half of the 19-25 year olds in Ireland registered to vote did so during the local and European elections, with the overall national voter turnout at 51.6%. However, it also showed that the number of young people not registered to vote is almost one in three.

For information on how to register to vote or change your vote to a new address, visit www.spunout.ie/vote

*****Ends******
For more information please contact;
Ian Power, SpunOut.ie Executive Director
ian@spunout.ie
01-6753554

or
Laura Harmon, USI President,
laura.harmon@usi.ie
086 173 8455

1The Red C poll commissioned by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI)
(http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/one-in-three-young-people-not-registered-to-vote-according-to-red-c-poll-1.1928810)