How to Register to Vote

Up to 700,000 young people aged 18-29 in Ireland are eligible to vote, but some are not on the electoral register and unable to vote if an election or referendum is held. This means that young people’s voices are not being heard on issues of national importance. Registering to vote for the first time is quick and easy – see our FAQ below about getting your vote.

How do I register to vote for the first time?

If there’s no election coming up, you can apply to be included in the annual revision of the register. All you have to do is fill out a form and send it to your local authority, county council or city council. The annual deadline for inclusion in the 2022/2023 register is Thursday November 25th 2021.

1

To be included in the Draft Register, download and fill out the RFA form

2

Post it or bring it to your local authority, county council, or city council by close of business on November 25th

It is your responsibility to make sure your application arrives on time, so deliver by hand rather than post if you are submitting it close to the deadline.

Yes, any person who turned 18 since the last election/referendum and is not registered, but also any young person who is currently 17, but will turn 18 by the 15th of February 2022 can apply for inclusion in the 2022/2023 register. It is important to note that the 2022/2023 electoral register only applies from February 15th 2022, so if by chance there was an election/referendum before then the 2021/2022 register would be used.

Use the site www.checktheregister.ie to see if you’re on the electoral register.

If there is an election or referendum is called before the 15th of February 2022, and you’re not registered, then you can apply to be included in what is called the supplementary electoral register.

This application can be made at any time, but if there’s an upcoming election or referendum that you want to vote in, you need to make sure your application is received up to 15 days before polling day. This does not include Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday, so make sure you take that into account.

To get on the supplement of the register:

It is your responsibility to make sure your application arrives on time, so deliver by hand rather than post if you are submitting it close to the deadline.

Once this is done, your details will be added to the Register of Electors and you’ll be able to vote in local, national and European elections as well as referendums if you are eligible to do so.

We would strongly advise all those eligible to vote but not on the register to apply for inclusion by November 25th 2021. As you can see from the above, if you apply by November 25th, all that is required is that you complete the RFA form and submit to the relevant local county/city council. If you wait or miss this deadline and are not on the electoral register, you will have to submit an application to the supplementary register and that requires you to not only fill out the RFA2 form but to get it stamped and signed at a Garda Station before you submit it to your local county/city council. There is always the danger that you will miss the deadline before an election/referendum which you want to vote in.

There are slightly different rules for different kinds of elections.

You can vote in the general elections if you are:

  • Over 18
  • An Irish citizen
  • A British citizen living in Ireland

You can vote in a referendum if you are:

  • Over 18
  • An Irish citizen

You can vote in the local elections if you are:

  • Over 18
  • An Irish citizen
  • A British citizen living in Ireland
  • An EU citizen living in Ireland
  • A non-EU citizen living in Ireland

You can vote in the European Parliament elections if you are:

  • Over 18
  • An Irish citizen
  • An EU citizen living in Ireland (including British citizens)

Yes, you can still register to vote if you will be 18 on or before polling day, even if you have not yet turned 18 by the deadline to register.

To do this, follow the instructions to register as normal, but make sure you also submit a copy of your birth certificate with your form.

If you are not sure about where your polling station is, it is best to contact the relevant city/county council and ask for the location/address of your polling station.

No, you do not need a polling information card to vote. However, you may be asked at the polling station to produce identification before you are given a ballot paper.  If you do not have appropriate identification or the presiding officer is not satisfied that you are the person to whom the identification relates you will not be permitted to vote.

A full list of the acceptable forms of identification are detailed here.

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