What you need to know on how to register and to vote in the upcoming General Election on Saturday, February 8th 2020.
I’m not sure if I am registered to vote in the upcoming General Election on February 8th, how can I find out?
You can search for your name on www.checktheregister.ie When inputting your name and address, please bear in mind that the system is case sensitive, so you need to put in the exact name and address as it would appear on the register. Also some addresses/locations may be spelled a number of ways, so try the different options. You can also call the city/county council where you reside and ask to speak to the franchise section or section dealing with the electoral register.
I have searched on checktheregister.ie and called my city/county council and my name is not on the register. How can get on the register in time to vote on Saturday, February 8th?
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.
I registered to vote in September 2019, am I registered to vote in the General Election on February 8th next?
The situation concerning those who registered to vote between May 25th 2019 and November 25th 2019 is uncertain and unclear. Ordinarily anyone who registered in this period would have been added to the register, but not until February 15th 2020, when the 2020/2021 Electoral Register comes into force. If you registered to vote between May 25th and November 25th, it is strongly advised that you check with your relevant city/council. If you do not get confirmation that your name is on the register, it is recommended that you complete and submit the RFA2 form as outlined above.
I will be 18 on Saturday, February 8th, can I register to vote and vote in the General Election?
Yes, any person who is aged 18 or over on February 8th next and eligible to vote in a General Election (Irish or British citizen) can register to vote and vote in the upcoming election. When submitting your RFA2 form to the relevant city/county council, it would be a good idea to include a copy of your birth certificate.
I have changed address and moved to a different county since the last election, can I change my address on the register to vote at my new location?
Yes, download the RFA3 form from checktheregister.ie or google RFA3 form 2019/2020. Copies may also be available at city/county councils offices, post offices and Garda Stations etc. Complete the form as directed. Bring the completed form to a Garda Station and bring ID and get the form signed and stamped by a Garda. The completed form must be posted or delivered in person to the relevant City/County Council to arrive no later than close of business, (usually 5pm) on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020.
I have posted/handed in my RFA2/RFA3 application form to my City/County Council before close of business on Wednesday, January 22nd. Am I registered to vote now?
The staff in the local authority will check all your details and check that the form is correctly completed, if all is in order, your name will be added to the supplementary register.
I posted my RFA2 application form last week but my name is still not appearing on www.checktheregister.ie should I be concerned?
The staff in the city/county councils will be prioritising completion of the supplementary register once the deadline closes on January 22nd. Some City/County Council may upload the supplementary voter lists to the www.checktheregister.ie website by February 8th, but some may not, so the fact that your name is not there does not mean you are not registered.
So how do I make sure that my RFA2/RFA3 form was processed and I am registered to vote on February 8th? if my details are not on www.checktheregister.ie ?
If you want to confirm if your name has been included on the supplementary register, you can email the city/county council to whom you posted/sent your RFA2/RFA3 form. It would be best to get the email address of the relevant section which deals with the electoral register, i.e. usually it is named the franchise section. Send an email with your name, address seeking confirmation that your name is included. Alternatively, you can go in person to the city/county council offices and ask to see a copy of the supplementary register. It may take the city/county council a number of days/week after the deadline to complete the supplementary register, so please be aware it will not be available immediately on January 22nd.
I did not receive a polling card; can I vote on February 8th?
Yes. The polling card simply tells you when and where to vote. You do not require it to vote and therefore it is not a requirement to present a polling card on February 8th. You are required to have proof of I.D. regardless of whether you have a polling card or not.
I have not voted before or have not voted in this area before; how do I find out where to cast my vote?
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.
What times are the polling stations open at on February 8th?
The polling stations are open between 7am to 10pm on Saturday, February 8th.
What forms of I.D. is acceptable to bring to the polling station?
The following documents are acceptable for identification purposes: a passport (either Passport Book or Passport Card); a driving licence; an employee identity card containing a photograph; a student identity card issued by an educational institution and containing a photograph; a travel document containing name and photograph; a Bank or Savings or Credit Union book containing your address in the constituency and/or a Public Services Card.
What is the process when I arrive at the polling station?
Some polling stations, usually in urban areas may have a large number of polling booths; information is usually provided at the polling station entrance to indicate which polling booth you should go to. In some polling stations, there may only be one polling booth.
What is the process when I reach the correct polling booth?
When you have located the correct polling booth, give the polling staff your name and address along with a polling card (if you received one) or I.D. if requested. The staff will check your details and if you are on the register (including the supplementary register) and entitled to vote in a General Election you can vote on February 8th and will be given a ballot paper. Take the ballot paper to the area provided for voting and cast your vote using the pen or pencil provided. Do not write anything on the ballot paper except as per the instructions on it, if you do your vote may be deemed spoiled and will not be counted. When finished fold your ballot paper and put it in the ballot box.
Who can vote in a General Election?
Only Irish citizens and British citizens residing in the State can vote in an Irish General Election. You must be ordinarily resident in the State on 1st September 2018, to be allowed register on the 2019/20 Register of Electors, which is the register being used in this General Election.