Minister Kelly signs Polling Day Order
Mr. Alan Kelly, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, has today (3 February 2016) made an order appointing 26 February 2016 as polling day and the hours from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm to be the hours of polling at the General Election to be held as a consequence of the proclamation issued on 3 February 2016 dissolving Dáil Éireann.
To stand for election to Dáil Éireann, a candidate must be a citizen of Ireland and at least 21 years of age by polling day. A person may nominate himself or herself as a candidate or, with his or her consent, may be nominated by a person who is registered as an elector in the constituency concerned. A candidate not in possession of a certificate of political affiliation (confirmation that a person is a candidate of a political party registered in the register of political parties) must have their nomination completed using either of the following options: by way of assents requiring the completion of statutory declarations by 30 assentors (registered electors) in the relevant Dáil constituency, or by way of the candidate, or someone on his or her behalf, lodging a deposit of 500 euro with the returning officer.
The latest time for receiving nominations is 12 noon on 11 February 2016. Candidates may withdraw their nominations up to 12 noon on 12 February 2016.
Every person who is an Irish or British citizen and is included in the register of electors is entitled to vote at the General Election. The electorate currently stands at over 3.2 million.
People who are eligible to vote but are not registered as electors still have time to apply for entry in the supplement to the register of electors to be published before polling day. To be eligible for inclusion in the supplement, a person must be 18 years of age or over on or before polling day and must be ordinarily resident in the State. For inclusion in the supplement to the register, a person must complete the relevant application form, which can be downloaded from the Check the Register website or can be obtained from City, County or City and County Councils (registration authorities). An application form will need to be received by the registration authority for the area in which the applicant is resident not later than Tuesday 9 February 2016.
An application for inclusion in the supplement to the register must be signed by the applicant in the presence of a member of the Garda Síochána from the applicant’s local Garda station who must first be satisfied as to the person’s identity before signing, dating and stamping the form. The Garda may request photographic or other identification. Where the applicant establishes in writing that he or she is unable to progress the application in this way, the form can be signed by the applicant in the presence of an official of the registration authority who is satisfied as to his or her identity. Again, photographic or other identification may be required. If neither option is viable due to physical illness or physical disability, the application form must be accompanied by a medical certificate.
If a person is eligible to vote by post, or is unable to vote in person due to a physical illness or physical disability and is resident in a hospital, nursing home or similar institution, and they are not on the Postal Voters List or Special Voters List, as appropriate, they can apply for inclusion in the supplements to those lists. Application forms will need to be received by the registration authority for the area in which the applicant is resident not later than Friday 5 February 2016. Application forms are available from City, County or City and County Councils who will advise people of the appropriate arrangements for the completion of the relevant form.
Voting, to elect 157 members (excluding the Ceann Comhairle) to the 32nd Dáil, will take place in the 40 constituencies specified in the Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2013.
The Minister took the opportunity to encourage Returning Officers, when making their arrangements for the conduct of the polls, to consider employing unemployed people on polling day and at the subsequent counts in each constituency.
“While the efficient conduct of the polls and the count is clearly dependent on having sufficiently skilled and experienced people, I would ask all Returning Officers to consider employing suitable persons who are unemployed”, the Minister said.