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Residents on Ireland's islands will now vote on the same day as the rest of the country

The changes won’t be in place before the May election date

Presiding Officer Carmel McBride and Garda Sergeant Paul McGee carry a ballot box away from a polling station after voting concluded on the island of Inishbofin in 2016.
Presiding Officer Carmel McBride and Garda Sergeant Paul McGee carry a ballot box away from a polling station after voting concluded on the island of Inishbofin in 2016.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

CABINET HAS AGREED support a Bill from Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív which will mean that residents on the islands around Ireland will be able to vote on the same day as the rest of the country. 

Currently, islanders get to vote the day before in the general, local and European elections, as well as the presidential election and referendums. 

It is understood that early voting was introduced to allow for possible transport or weather related delays that could impact ballot boxes making it to the count centres. 

Islanders have been seeking to be allowed vote on the same day, stating that voting a day earlier puts them at a disadvantage

Today, Cabinet approved a Money Message, (this is needed for a private members’ Bill if it will cost the State money) allowing the legislation to be drafted. 

A government spokesperson said the cost to change the system will be minimal, adding that the measures will not be in place before next month’s local and European elections.

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