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Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# Explainer
Saw a bible at your polling station? Here's why
Not everyone is happy about the situation.

SOME PEOPLE WERE a bit confused when they spotted Bibles at polling centres when they went to cast their votes today.

Shutterstock-248700502 Shutterstock Shutterstock

Several voters thought it was inappropriate for Bibles to be present, given the Catholic Church’s call for a No vote in the same-sex marriage referendum. (Like most groups, they’ve been less vocal on lowering the minimum age of presidential candidates…)

Meanwhile, Eoin dealt with the issue in his own way:

The Referendum Commission has taken to Twitter to clear things up, after getting clarification from the Department of the Environment.

The Bibles are indeed there for people to swear confirmation of identity, if they show up to vote without ID or a polling card.

It’s provided for under Section 111 of the Electoral Act 1992, which states:

The returning officer or presiding officer may, and if so required by a personation agent present in the polling station shall, administer to any person when he applies for a ballot paper, but not afterwards, an oath or (in the case of any person who objects to taking an oath on the ground that he has no religious belief or that the taking of an oath is contrary to his religious belief) an affirmation in the following form:

“I swear by Almighty God (or — do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm — as the case may be) that I am the same person as the person whose name appears as AB on the register of Dáil electors now in force for the constitutency of……….and that I have not already voted at this election, and that I had attained the age of eighteen years on……….(date of coming into force of the register)”;

And if such person refuses to take the oath or make the affirmation he shall not be permitted to vote.

So now we know.

Liveblog: All the latest news on the same-sex and presidential age referendums

No selfies or badges: What you need to know before you vote today

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