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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 27 October 2020
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You've got until Monday to get your voting forms submitted

Monday October 10 is your last day to register for voting in the election (or elections) and referenda. Here’s how to do it.

Image: Peter Morrison/AP

IF YOU’RE ALREADY registered to vote, and you still live at the place where you’re registered, you should already be all set to vote in the Presidential election and referenda in three weeks’ time.

If you’re not, though, then you’ve only got a day or two left to get your stuff in order – and if you want to get it done in the post, you’ll need to have it sent by this afternoon.

Here’s what you do.

Are you entitled to first?

First of all, you must consider whether you’re entitled to vote in the election(s) going on. If you live anywhere outside of Dublin West, the situation is relatively clear: you need to be an Irish citizen to vote.

That’s because you must be a citizen of Ireland to vote in a referendum, and you must be a citizen of Ireland to vote for the President. Simples.

The only deviation from this will be for the Dublin West by-election, to fill the seat left by Brian Lenihan: in that case, voting is the same as in Dáil elections: meaning you must be an Irish or British citizen in order to vote.

If you are not a citizen of either Ireland or the United Kingdom, you won’t have the right to vote in any of the ballots being held on October 27.

Are you registered already?

Although each local authority – as in, the 34 county and city councils – administers the electoral register for their area, thankfully there’s a centralised website for you to check whether you’re already on the register or not.

CheckTheRegister.ie will provide you to a centralised list of the individual registers – click on the name of your local authority and you’ll be brought to their page, where you can fill in your details and, well… check the register.

Note that if you’ve previously been registered at a previous address, you might need to check both your current and previous addresses.

Argh! I’m not registered already

No panic. First of all, go to the website of your current local authority – as in, the one in whose jurisdiction you now live. Search for its ‘Register to Vote’ section, and download form RFA2. This the is the form you’ll need to fill out to be included to the register.

(Note that different authorities have a slightly different version of the form, so do make sure you get the one from your own county.)

Fill out the first page of the form, but don’t sign it. You’ll need to do that bit in the presence of a Garda – so bring your form to the Garda station with a form of photo ID, and have the Garda witness you as you sign it.

The Garda will then stamp the form, fill out the appropriate part on the second page, and give it back to you. You then post this form to the local authority, at the address which should be supplied on the form – though given the time, you may prefer to physically bring the form to their offices.

I’m on the register but at an old address

Go to the website of your current local authority and download form RFA3 (again, you should get this specifically from your new council, because each council has slightly different versions of the form).

Fill it out but don’t sign it – you’ll have to do that in the presence of a Garda, who will want some sort of photo ID. They will stamp the form, fill out the second page, and return it to you.

You should then either post (though realistically, at this stage read ‘deliver’) the form to the address listed on the form (probably in the top-left).

What next?

Given the scale of forms submitted to some local authorities – particularly in urban areas – you should not expect any written acknowledgement – though individual councils will allow you to call them and ensure that you have been added.

It is worth noting in advance that many councils, due to the workload, will not update the online edition of the register – so don’t panic if you don’t see your name added there.

Is it too late to get a postal vote?

Yes. Sorry!

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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