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Senator Alex White: working for Dublin South


Registering to vote in Ireland

In order to vote in an election in Ireland, you must be registered to vote. Being registered to vote means that you can participate in decision making about who represents you at local government level, national government level and European government level. Being registered to vote also means that you can get involved in decisions about how Ireland is governed by voting in elections and referenda.

Every local authority in Ireland is responsible for compiling and publishing a Register of Electors each year for its area. Anyone can inspect this Register and it is available in all local authority offices, post offices, Garda stations and public libraries. There are certain rules in place regarding who can vote in Ireland. For example, you must be a certain age and must have been resident in Ireland for a certain length of time before the Register comes into effect. In addition, your citizenship will determine in which elections you can vote in Ireland. This document explains how to register to vote in Ireland, who can vote in Ireland and how the process of voting works.

The Electoral Register

A new Electoral Register is compiled each year and is published on 1 November. You can inspect the Register or draft Register during working hours at the offices of the County Council or the county registrar and at public libraries, post offices and Garda stations.

You have until 25 November to make a correction or have your name included on the Register. You may be asked for documents such as a birth certificate or a certificate of naturalisation in order to prove your eligibility to vote. The amended Register of Electors is then published in February of the following year.

Supplement to the Electoral Register

If you are qualified to vote but have missed the deadline to include your name on the Register, you can apply to be included in a Supplement to the Register, which will allow you to vote at any election or referendum held during the year. You can apply for inclusion on the Supplemental Register at least 13 working days before polling day.


Irish citizens can vote in every election and referendum
British citizens may vote at Dáil, European and local elections
Other EU citizens may vote at European and local elections
Non-EU citizens can vote at local elections only To be eligible to be included in the Register of Electors, you must:
Be at least 18 years of age on the day the Register comes into force
(15 February) And;
Have been ordinarily resident in the State on 1 September in the year preceding the coming into force of the Register. Irish citizens living abroad cannot vote in an election or referendum here in Ireland (with the exception of Irish diplomats (and their spouses) who are on duty abroad).

Postal Voters List

You will normally be required to vote in person at an official voting centre, however, you may be eligible for a postal vote if you are a member of the Defence Force, a member of the Garda Siochana or an Irish diplomat posted abroad or his/her spouse. You may also be eligible for a postal vote if you cannot go to a polling station because of a physical illness or disability or because you are studying full time at an educational institution away from your home address where you are registered.

Applications for inclusion on the Postal Voters List must be received by 25 November at the latest. If you are registered as a postal voter, you may vote by post only. You may not vote at a polling station.

Special Voters List

You may also qualify to be on a Special Voters List for those who live in hospitals, nursing homes or similar institutions and who wish to vote at these locations. Applications to be entered on the Special Voters List must be made by 25 November and, in the case of a first application, must be accompanied by a medical certificate. Rates There is no cost associated with registering to vote in any election in Ireland.

How to apply

Application forms for inclusion on the Electoral Register, Special Voters List, Postal Voters List and the amended Electoral Register are available from all County Councils, Corporations, post offices and public libraries.

Applications for inclusion on the Electoral Register must be completed by 25 November.

You can download an application form for inclusion on the Electoral Register here (pdf format). Completed forms can be returned to your County Council or City Council.

Where to apply

Application forms to register to vote in Ireland are available at County Councils, Corporations, post offices and public libraries throughout the country. Contact information for all County Councils, Corporations, post offices and public libraries is available in all public telephone directories.

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