Make a plan for polling day on March 8th
It’s important to plan what time you will vote and how you will get to the polling station
Written by spunout
Last Updated: Feb-22-24
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On the March 8th, Ireland will be asked to vote on two potential changes to the Constitution. This vote is called a referendum. One proposal would expand the concept of family in the Constitution, this is called the Family Amendment. The other would recognise care provided by family members to each other, this is called the Care Amendment.
If you want to have your say, then it’s important you make a plan for polling day. Taking some time now to find out where you need to go, what time you will vote and how you will get there could make all the difference on the day.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you plan your vote:
Making a plan for polling day in Ireland
Find out where you vote
The building where you vote on the day of the referendum is called a polling station. They are often in schools or community centres. The location of your polling station depends on your address. It’s important you know exactly where you are going on polling day. It will tell you on your polling card where your polling station is.
Bring your polling card
A polling card will be delivered to the address you are registered to vote at, before the day of the referendum. You do not need a polling card to vote. The purpose of the polling card is simply to give you information on when and where to vote.
The address of your polling station will be printed on the card.
I haven’t received a polling card
If you haven’t received a polling card, but you’re not sure where to go on Friday to vote, you can fill in your details at checktheregister.ie or ring your local authority to find out the address of your polling station. You can find a list of local authorities here.
Decide what time you will vote
Polling stations will be open from 7am – 10pm.
Pick a time to go to the polling station, and make sure you plan it around other commitments like work or college, so that you don’t miss out on voting.
Decide how you will get there
Do you have to travel to another county to vote? Can you walk to your polling station? Will you need to use public transport?
Work out now exactly how you will get to your polling station, and what time you will need to leave to get there at the time you decided. If you can’t get to your polling station, you can’t vote, so figure it out in advance.
Bring photo ID with you to the polling station
You will need some form of ID when you go to vote. This can include:
- Driving licence
- Public Services Card
- Employee identity card with a photograph
- Student identity card with a photograph
- A bank, savings or credit union book containing your address
You will need to bring ID even if you received a polling card. If you did not receive a polling card, you can still vote if you bring ID.
Know what to expect
When you arrive at the polling station, you will be handed two ballot papers, one each for the Family (39th Amendment) referendum and the Care referendum (40th Amendment).
The 39th Amendment to the Constitution will be on a white coloured ballot paper. It deals with Article 41.1.1°and Article 41.3.1° of the Constitution, both of which relate to the Family.
The 40th Amendment to the Constitution will be on a green coloured ballot paper. It proposes deleting the current Articles 41.2.1° and 41.2.2° and inserting a new Article 42B.
This is what the ballot paper for the Family referendum will look like:
This is what the ballot paper for the Care referendum will look like:
Casting your vote
When you arrive at the polling station named on your polling information card, you will be asked to say your name and address. You will need to have your identification ready for inspection.
If the Presiding Officer, or a member of their staff, is satisfied with your identity, and your name is on the Register of Electors, the Presiding Officer will stamp a ballot paper and give it to you.
Voting in the referendum:
- You will take your ballot paper and then go into a private voting compartment
- The ballot paper contains short instructions on how to vote and details of the referendum proposal. It asks whether you approve of the proposal
- You should mark “X” in either the “yes” or the “no” box on the paper, then fold it and place it in a sealed ballot box
- Pencils will be provided, but you can bring your own pen or pencil if you wish
Remove or cover up any campaign jumpers, t-shirts or badges
No campaign material is allowed within 50 metres of a polling station. This means that you are not allowed to wear any jumpers, badges or other material that show support for any of the candidates or either side in the referendum.
When you go to the polling station, remove your badges and jumpers, or cover them up so that they can’t be seen. If you are wearing any of these materials, you will be asked to remove them or cover them before you can vote.
You can put them back on when you leave so long as you are 50 metres away from the polling station.
Need more information, advice or guidance?
We offer information, advice and guidance about the issues that matter to you. Our online Youth Information Chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm (excluding Bank Holidays).