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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019

Voters in Inishfree (all 6 of them) go the polls today, along with 2,118 other people...

The elections come a day early, if you’re lucky enough to live on an island off the west or northwest coast.

Pilot Terry Gaff loading up a ballot box after the Fiscal Treaty Referendum on Tory Island in May 2012.
Pilot Terry Gaff loading up a ballot box after the Fiscal Treaty Referendum on Tory Island in May 2012.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

MOST OF US won’t get to cast our votes until early tomorrow morning — but for some two thousand voters off the west and northwest coasts, polling day comes a day early.

2,124 voters, to be precise, are eligible to vote today on the islands in question — which include Arranmore and Tory Island off Donegal, Mayo’s Clare Island and Galway’s Inishmore and Inishboffin.

Inishfree, also off Donegal, has the smallest electorate of the list — with just six eligible voters.

Citizens living in the areas typically vote a day early to avoid the possibility that bad weather that could prevent ballot boxes from being brought to count centres on time.

Air Corps helicopters will pick up the full boxes this evening and ferry them to the mainland.

Some 440 people on islands off Cork, including Bere, Clear and Sherkin islands, will vote tomorrow, when the polls open nationwide at 7am.

Counting for the local elections begins on Saturday, with the process expected to go on late into the evening.

The European count gets under way at 9am on Sunday.

Read: Fine Gael bottled water, giant floating heads and other strange sights from Election 2014

Read: 7 things we learned from last night’s Dublin Prime Time debate 

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