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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 news


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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. 

Can I vote in Ireland?

There are different rules depending on what type of election you are voting in and what your residency status is. 

You can vote in the general elections if you are:

  • Over 18
  • An Irish citizen
  • A British citizen living in Ireland

You can vote in a referendum if you are:

  • Over 18
  • An Irish citizen

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)

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 to vote if you will be 18 on or before polling day, even if you have not yet turned 18 by the deadline to register. 

To do this, follow the instructions to register as normal, but make sure you also submit a copy of your birth certificate with your form.

How to register to vote in Ireland

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, and if there's a vote coming up.

You have the opportunity to get your name on the register every year by applying for the Draft Register of Electors. If there is an upcoming election or referendum and you want to register in time to vote, you can apply for the Supplementary Register.

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. 

If you need to change your details on the register, you can do this before November 25th each year. If there is a mistake with your entry, make sure to let your council know before the deadline.

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

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

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.

To get on the supplement of the register:

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

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 and you want to register for the postal voters list, you must submit your application to be included 22 days (excluding Sundays and public holidays) before polling day.

You can register for a postal vote if 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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