In case you weren’t aware, there’s a referendum coming up.
And a fairly important one at that.
There are plenty of things that need planning in the lead up to the referendum including campaigning, discussions, and educating yourself about the issue at hand.
One of the most important things, however, is making sure that you’re registered and eligible to vote.
The last day that people will be eligible to register is Tuesday, May 8.
That means that you have until then to check the register, fill out a form, get it stamped, and send it to your local authority.
So, who can vote in the referendum?
Anyone who is an Irish citizen and over 18 years of age is eligible to vote in any Irish election or referendum.
You can also register to vote if you’ve turned 18 before the day the register comes into force, February 15.
British and EU citizens are not permitted to vote in referendums, but can vote in European and local elections.
How do you check the register?
The easiest way to check the register is by logging onto checktheregister.ie. You’ll be asked to input your details (including your name and address) to see whether you are included on the current register.
Alternatively, you can also contact your local county council, Garda station, or Local Authority Office.
How do you register to vote?
The first amended register of electors has already been published for this year, but if you didn’t include yourself on this one don’t panic – you still have a chance to get on the register.
Anyone not included on the register can apply to be included on the supplement register by filling out Form RFA2, getting it stamped in your local Garda station, and handing it into your local authorities.
This must be done before May 8 to ensure you’re included on the register.
How do you change your address before voting?
To change your address on the register, you will need to fill out Form RFA3 and give it into your local authorities – this means the county council in the area you are currently listed in.
Students living away from home can choose to be registered with either their home or college address.
Who is eligible for the postal vote?
Most people will vote in the referendum at polling stations, but there are certain circumstances where you may be eligible for the postal vote.
Irish diplomats and their spouses posted abroad, members of the Garda Síochána, and whole-time members of the Defence Forces are eligible for the postal vote.
Similarly, if you cannot make it to a polling station because of a physical disability, because you are studying away from your registered address, because your occupation does not allow it, or because you are in prison, you are also eligible.
Bear in mind that if you apply for the postal vote, you must vote via post and cannot vote at a polling station.
You can apply for the supplemented postal vote register 22 days before polling day (excluding bank holidays, Sundays, and Good Friday).
Application forms for the supplemented postal vote register are available from your local authority.
More information about referendums in Ireland and registering to vote can be found here.