Know Your Rights: Voting In The Forthcoming Referendum

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Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kerry Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public…

Question: How do I check if I can vote in the forthcoming referendum? If I’m not in Ireland on polling day, can I still vote?

Answer: To vote in a referendum, you must be an Irish citizen and be registered to vote. Every local authority is responsible for compiling and publishing a list of voters in its area. This is called the Register of Electors or the electoral register.

In general, Irish citizens living abroad cannot be entered on the Register of Electors and cannot vote in a referendum.

The only exception to this is in the case of Irish officials on duty abroad (and their spouses) who may register on the postal voters list. If you are abroad on holiday on polling day, you cannot have a postal vote.

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The current Register of Electors came into force on 15 February 2018. You can check if you are on the register at checktheregister.ie or at your local authority, Garda station, post office or public library.

If you are not on the register, you can apply to be added to the supplement to the register. You use Form RFA2, which is available online at checktheregister.ie or from your local authority, post office or public library. To be included in the supplement used at an election or referendum, your local authority must receive your application at least 15 days before polling day. Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday are not counted as days for this purpose.

Local authorities prepare a postal voters list as part of the electoral register. You can only apply for registration as a postal voter if you cannot vote at a polling station because of illness or disability, your occupation, being in prison, or if you are studying full-time in Ireland but away from the address where you are registered to vote.

You can apply to be added to the supplement to the postal voters list up to 22 days (excluding Sundays and public holidays) before polling day in a referendum. The application form for inclusion in the supplement to the postal voters list is available from your local authority or online at checktheregister.ie.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

• Contact us in Tralee on Tel: 0761 07 7860 Killarney 0761 07 7820, Listowel 0761 07 7840 Kenmare 0761 07 7810, Killorglin 0761 07830 & Caherciveen 0761 07 7780.

Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000

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