Friday, April 27, 2018

Know Your Rights: Voting in a referendum


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?


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.
The current Register of Electors came into force on 15 February 2018. You can check if you are on the register at 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 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  
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000

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