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Laura Hutton

Where’s my polling station? Do I need ID? How to cast your vote today

Ireland’s 3.13 million registered voters have the opportunity to cast their votes in hundreds of polling stations across Ireland’s 43 constituencies today.

VOTING HAS FINALLY begun around the country in the referendum on the fiscal compact.

Ireland’s 3.13 million registered voters have the chance to cast their votes in hundreds of polling stations across Ireland’s 43 constituencies from 7 o’clock this morning.

Polls so far suggest that the referendum will pass: support for the Yes side had fallen slightly in the most recent polls at the weekend, but remains at around 60 per cent when undecideds are excluded. No campaigners point out that polls were proved wrong in votes on the Nice and Lisbon treaties in 2001 and 2008.

Turnout is expected to be between 50 and 60 per cent. Turnout in the last Lisbon treaty was 59 per cent, but bad weather and a large number of undecided voters in this referendum may lead to a lower turnout.

A copy of the Treaty has been delivered to every home in the country and households have also received the independent guide from the Referendum Commission which explains what the Treaty is about.

The first indications of the result are expected early on Friday afternoon with a full result later that day.

Where do I vote?

You should have received a polling card by now which will have the address of the polling station where you can go to cast your vote.  Polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm.

Do I need to bring the polling card with me?

You don’t need to bring your polling card with you to vote. You should, however, bring some valid form of personal identification like a passport or a driving licence. It won’t always be asked for, but if it is, you’ll need to show it.

Aside from passport or driving licence, types of acceptable ID include an employee identity card containing a photograph, a student identity card issued by an educational institution and with a photograph, a travel document containing a name and photograph, or a bank or savings or credit union book containing your address in the constituency. It’s also acceptable to show a cheque book, a cheque card, a credit card, a birth certificate or a marriage certificate, as long as it’s accompanied by another document which confirms your address in the constituency.

I never received a polling card. Can I still vote?

It depends. If you’re an Irish citizen, aged at least 18 and living in Ireland then you are entitled to vote, but you have to be on the electoral register. You can check whether you are or not on

You’ll be asked to put in your province and the name of your local authority, as well as your name and address.

If for some reason you didn’t receive a polling card, don’t worry. You’ll still be allowed to vote as long as your name is on the register and you bring along identification.

I haven’t made up my mind yet. Where can I get more information?

Fine Gael, Sinn Féin, the Referendum Commission and the European Policy Centre all answered the most commonly-asked questions about the Treaty on yesterday, if you’re still looking for more information before you vote. There’s also this version of the Fiscal Compact rewritten in layman’s terms.

When will the votes be counted?

Counting the votes will start at 9 o’clock on Friday morning in 26 count centres around the country. The overall result will be announced from the central results centre in Dublin Castle and are expected by Friday evening.

There will be full coverage of the referendum result on from early on Friday morning

Poll: Do you intend to vote today in the referendum? >

Fine Gael criticises referendum parody ads as ‘desperate last minute tactics’ >

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