Polling staff open the ballot boxes for the count at last year's presidential election. The polling order for next month's referendum has been signed today. Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

You have two days to register for a referendum postal vote

The polling order has been signed for the Fiscal Compact referendum – so here’s how to sort out your vote.

THE GOVERNMENT has today signed the polling order for next month’s referendum on the Fiscal Compact – meaning the formal commencement of campaigning ahead of the vote in 31 days’ time.

The polling order, officially issued by environment minister Phil Hogan today, sets polling day as Thursday 31 May with voting taking place between 7am and 10pm.

That means it’s time to set about making sure you’re registered to vote. For most people this should be straightforward: the fact that there was an election and two referendums only six months ago means that many people should already be registered to vote at their current address.

The easiest way to ensure you’re registered is to visit and choose your local council from the drop-down list: from there you can enter your details and ensure that you’re registered at your current address.

People who are eligible to vote, but who are not currently on the register of electors, still have time to apply for entry to the supplementary register of electors, which will be published before voting day.

Applications for inclusion on the supplementary register must be received by your local council by Monday 14 May. Forms to be added to the register can be downloaded from or obtained from any city and county council.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if you were added to the supplementary register for last October’s elections and referendums, your registration should still be in place for next month’s vote – but, of course, you should always double-check this to be sure.

People hoping to register for a postal vote have only two days after the date the polling order is issued – i.e. today – to lodge a request for registering for a postal vote.

Voters can cast their ballots by post if they are a member of the diplomatic corps posted abroad (or are married to one), a Garda, a member of the Defence Forces, have an illness or disability, are a full-time student away from home, will be working away from home on polling day, or are in prison.

Voters who require a postal vote because of illness or disability should seek form PV1 from their local county or city council, while any other prospective postal voter should seek form PV2.

Examples of those forms can be found at Dublin City Council’s website – but individual councils may have slightly different versions of those forms, so it’s important to get the form from your own local council.

The principal officer at the Department of the Environment, Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile, has been appointed as the Returning Officer and will be responsible for collecting the referendum results from each of the 43 local constituencies before declaring the formal result.

Translated: The Fiscal Compact rewritten in layman’s terms >

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