Making Sure You Can Vote
Every vote will be important in the forthcoming abortion referendum. It is therefore important that you make sure you, your family and friends can vote if at all possible.
In order to vote in the upcoming abortion referendum you have to be an Irish Citizen, 18 or over on the day of the referendum, have been ordinarily resident in the state on 1 September in the previous year.
The Draft Register of Electors is published on 1 November each year and comes into force the following 15 February. You can ask to see it in your local City or Council office, Post Office, Garda Station or Library; or you can check on line at www.checktheregister.ie.
At this stage the Register is closed, however there are a number of ways in which you may still be able to vote, depending on your circumstances.
If you find you are not on the register but are entitled to vote you can apply for inclusion on the Supplementary Register up to 15 days before polling day (Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday are not counted as days for this purpose).
To be included on the Supplementary Register you must complete form RFA2. You are eligible for inclusion in the supplement to the Register of Electors on or after the day on which you reach 18 years of age. You can be included if this birthday falls after the closing date for applications but is on or before polling day. If you are within this category, you should accompany your application with a copy of your birth certificate.
If you have moved address you can apply for inclusion at your new address by completing form RFA3. This will remove you from your old address.
You may be eligible for a postal vote if you are:
- An Irish diplomat or his/her spouse posted abroad
- A member of the Garda Síochána
- A whole-time member of the Defence Forces.
You may also be eligible for a postal vote if you cannot go to a polling station because:
- Of a physical illness or disability
- You are studying full time at an educational institution in Ireland, which is away from your home address where you are registered
- You are unable to vote at your polling station because of your occupation
- You are unable to vote at your polling station because you are in prison as a result of an order of a court.
It is possible to be included on the Supplementary Postal Register 22 days (excluding Sundays and public holidays) before polling day by completing PVS1 if you have a physical illness or disability that prevents you from voting in person. Or by completing PVS2 if you are prevented from voting in person by reason of your Occupation, etc.
Special Voters Supplement
There are a variety of arrangements in place to assist those with certain disabilities in Ireland to exercise their voting rights. You can:
- Vote at an alternative polling station if the local station is inaccessible
- Be helped to vote at the polling station by a companion or the presiding officer
- Vote in a referendum using a ballot paper template if you have a visual impairment
- Vote by post
- Vote at a hospital, nursing home or similar institution if you live there.
At least one of these facilities is available to you if you have a physical illness or disability, a visual impairment or a reading or writing disability.
To be included on this list you need to complete SVS1 22 days (excluding Sundays and public holidays) before polling day.
New Irish Citizen
If you are already on the Register of Electors and have become an Irish Citizen you must fill in an RFA5 change of citizenship supplement form which will enable you to vote at all elections and referendums.