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Register To Vote

All you need to know, and do, to get on the Register of Electors


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life


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Are you registered to vote? Some of you may know the answer, others won't. First off, go to CheckTheRegister.ie to see if you're on the register of electors. If you're registered, great. If not, don't worry! We'll guide you through it. 

Information on the upcoming 2019 Local and European Parliament elections and referendum

Local and European Parliament elections are held at the same time every five years in Ireland. This year, they will be held on 24 May 2019. This will be your opportunity to vote to elect councillors to your local city or county council, and to elect Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to the European Parliament.

This year, there will also be a referendum on divorce held at the same time as the local and European elections.

Can I vote in the upcoming elections and referendum?

You can vote in the local elections if you are:

  • Over 18
  • An Irish citizen
  • A British citizen living in Ireland
  • An EU citizen living in Ireland
  • A non-EU citizen living in Ireland

You can vote in the European Parliament elections if you are:

  • Over 18
  • An Irish citizen
  • An EU citizen living in Ireland (including British citizens)

You can vote in the referendum if you are:

  • Over 18
  • An Irish citizen

If you wish to vote in May, you will need to make sure you are registered.

How to register to vote for the upcoming elections and referendum

First, check if you are already registered to vote by visiting CheckTheRegister.ie and entering your details. It's a good idea to do this even if you have voted in the past, as you can sometimes be accidentally removed from the register.

If you are not registered, you will need to apply to the Supplementary Register. In order to get onto the supplement to the register, your application must be received up to 15 days before polling day, not including Sundays or public holidays. 

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming local and European elections and the referendum is 7 May 2019.

Here are the steps you need to follow to apply for the supplementary register:

It is your responsibility to make sure the form arrives on time, so deliver by hand rather than post if you are submitting it close to the deadline.

I am a student and I won't be home on polling day. Can I still vote?

If you are a full-time student who is already registered to vote at their home address but who is now living away from home while studying at an educational institution in Ireland, you can apply for the postal voters list.

The form you will need is a PVS2 form. You will need to get this form signed by your college and a peace commissioner (call your local garda station for a list of peace commissioners) and return it to your local authority.

The deadline for applying to the postal voters list for the 2019 local elections is 28 April 2019.

    Can I vote?

    If you're over 18 and an Irish citizen, you are allowed to vote. You can vote for any person in any election as long as you live in Ireland. If you don't meet those criteria, things can be a bit more difficult. Don't worry though, you still might be eligible to vote!

    • Irish citizens can vote in every election and referendum
    • British citizens may vote at Dáil, European and local elections
    • Other EU citizens may vote at European and local elections
    • Non-EU citizens can vote at local elections only

    If you're a non-Irish citizen and want to vote in the Dáil, European, or local elections here, you'll need to be an Irish resident since at least September of last year and be over 18. You'll still need to register, so make sure you fit at least one of these criteria.

    I'll be 18 on or before polling day, but not before the deadline to register. Can I still register to vote?

    Yes, you can still register for the supplement to the register at least 15 days before polling day, even if you're not 18 on the date you register, but will be 18 on or before polling day. To do this, follow the instructions above to register as normal, but make sure you also submit a copy of your birth certificate with your form.

    How do I register?

    There are two types of registers that you can apply to be on. Which one you apply for depends on the time of year that you're filling out the application.

    Draft Register of Electors

    The Draft Register of Electors is published on the 1st of November each year. This shows a list of the people included on the official Register of Electors on the 15th of February the following year.

    To be included in the Draft Register, you must send in your application form before November 25th.

    The register which will come into force on 15th February 2019 is on display from 1 November to 25 November 2018. This means if on 15th February 2019, you are aged 18 or over, you should check that your name, address and other details are present and correct on the Draft Register. If there is a mistake, tell your local Council before 25th November 2018.

    Supplementary Register

    If there is an election or a referendum coming up and you're not included in the register of electors, then you can apply to be included on the supplementary register.

    This application can be made at any time, but if there's an upcoming election or referendum that you want to vote in, you need to make sure your application is received up to 15 days before polling day. This does not include Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday, so make sure you take that into account.

    Once this is done, your details will be added to the Register of Electors and you'll be able to vote in local, national and European elections as well as referendums if you are eligible to do so.

    What if I am not at home on polling day?

    Generally, you need to vote in person at an official voting centre, but there's a number of circumstances in which you might be eligible for postal votes. This is especially relevant to students.

    Postal Voters List

    If an election or referendum has been called, you must submit your application to be included on the Postal Voters list 22 days (excluding Sundays and public holidays) before polling day.

    You can register for a postal vote if you are:

    • You are studying full time at an educational institution in Ireland, which is away from your home address where you are registered
    • A member of the Garda Síochána
    • A whole-time member of the Defence Forces.
    • Of a physical illness or disability
    • Unable to vote at your polling station because of your job
    • Unable to vote at your polling station because you are in prison as a result of an order of a court.

    Note: If you are on the Postal Voter list, you must vote by post, you cannot go to a polling station.

    To register for a postal vote, you must fill in a form available from your local authority. The form you will need will differ depending on your circumstances. Review this list to check which form you'll need.

    If you are a full-time student, the form you will need is a PVS2 form. You will need to get this form signed by your college and a peace commissioner (call your local garda station for a list of peace commissioners) and return it to your local authority.

    Find out the contact details of your local authority here.

    My details have changed, what do I do?

    If you are already on the voting register but you have moved address or need to change some details, just fill in the RFA3 form up to 15 days before polling day and send it off as above.

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    Published April 14th2014
    Last updated Decem­ber 6th2018
    Tags voting politics
    Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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