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Tens of thousands of young people could miss deadline to register to vote

Some 27,000 students have registered in recent months.

THE UNION OF Students in Ireland (USI) has announced that almost 27,000 students have registered to vote in the lead up to the referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment later this month.

However, up to 150,000 young people (aged 18-29) who are eligible to vote have not yet registered, according to the National Youth Council of Ireland.

Students’ unions all over Ireland have registered 26,979 new voters in recent months.

USI President Michael Kerrigan said the organisation is “not surprised to see so many new students registering” as “it’s clear students want to vote on this issue”.

Campaigns encouraging students and young people to register to vote have been taking place across the country.

“We have already registered over 18,000 students in semester one, with students’ unions registering a further 8,000 new voters in the last three weeks. With more voter registration drives to go, we expect this number to rise,” Kerrigan said.

The USI is the national representative body for the 374,000 students in third level education across the island of Ireland, and is a member of the Together For Yes campaign.

‘Worrying’ 

The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU), which doesn’t hold an official position on the referendum, will today host a voter registration drive as part of a final push to ensure as many young people as possible are registered to vote.

The event will take place at 2pm at the Liberty Hall Theatre in Dublin city. Gardaí will be present to sign and stamp voter registration forms.

Leon Egan, president of the ISSU, said it’s “worrying” that so many young people are “not registered to vote with the deadline quickly approaching”.

We want to promote active citizenship in Irish society. We believe that voting is not only our greatest civic duty, it is our moral responsibility.

People who aren’t sure if they are registered to vote can check online or by contacting their local council.

The deadline for registering is Tuesday, 8 May. Given the bank holiday weekend, RFA2 forms will have to be physically dropped into the relevant local authority offices.

For more information, watch the below video:

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

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Órla Ryan

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