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Up to 150,000 young people may not be on electoral register as deadline nears

Monday, April 30, 2018 - 09:30


The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) - which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide - is urging young people to make sure they have registered to vote before the deadline next Tuesday May 8th.

A RedC poll conducted for the NYCI last year found that 22% of those aged 18-29 were not registered to vote.* Based on the most recent population data from the Central Statistics Office this would mean up to 151,000 young people in the state risk missing out on their right to vote on May 25th,** the NYCI has warned.

James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director said “We know from our work with young people that the vast majority want to vote but not all are aware they have to register. This is particularly an issue among the more than 60,000 young people who turned 18 and became eligible to vote over in the last 12 months.”**

How to make sure you are registered to vote
The youth council has launched a simple explainer video on ‘how to make sure you are registered to vote’ on and across social media.

Check the register

For those unsure whether they are registered or not, the NYCI advises that they check online at

“Anyone not currently registered, needs to fill in the RFA2 form, have it signed and witnessed at a Garda Station, then return it by post or by hand to your local city or county council by the May 8th deadline, in order to make sure they will be able to cast their ballot on May 25th,” added Mr Doorley.

“While the deadline to get your completed RFA2 form to local Councils is Tuesday, May 8th, with the Bank Holiday on the preceding Monday, we would encourage applicants to put the completed form in the post by latest Friday, May 4th. In effect that gives applicants less than a week to register, since this form also needs to be signed and stamped at a Garda Station we would encourage people not to leave it to the last minute,” concluded James Doorley.

Anyone 18 on or before May 8th 2018 eligible

“This does not just apply to those currently aged 18-29 years, any young person who will turn 18 years of age on or before May 25th 2018 is now eligible to apply to register to vote,” added Mr Doorley.

We commend the work of the staff in local authorities and indeed the efforts of those such as our member organisations the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and Spunout, all of whom have contributed to an increase in the number of young people registered – and we sincerely hope that the number not registered is not as high as 150,000.

“But it is clear that more remains to be done, so we are strongly encouraging young people to register to vote and ensure they have a say in the upcoming referendum” concluded Mr Doorley.


For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 01 425 5955 or 087 781 4903 or email

Notes to Editors:


National Youth Council of Ireland

The National Youth Council of Ireland is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people.

*REdC Poll: 404 interviews were conducted online using Red C’s online panel Red C Live among those aged 18-29 years. Interviewing was conducted during 15th-23rd February 2017. The margin of error in the results is +/- 4.9%.