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Referendum – Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018

Published on Wednesday, 28 Mar 2018
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Mr. Eoghan Murphy T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, has today (28 March, 2018)  made an order appointing Friday 25 May, 2018 as the polling day at the referendum on the proposal for the amendment of the Constitution contained in the Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018.

Polling will take place between the hours of 7 am and 10 pm. The total electorate currently stands at some 3.2 million. “Whatever your views are on the proposals in the referendum, can I take this opportunity to encourage voters to go to their polling station during this 15 hour period on 25 May and have your say in the outcome of the referendum”, the Minister said.

To vote in the referendum you must be an Irish citizen who meets the qualifying conditions, including a requirement to be 18 years or over on polling day and ordinarily resident at the address at which you want to register.  If you are on the register and have moved address recently, you may apply to get on the supplement at your new address. 

Eligible voters who are not on the register and wish to vote at the referendum should complete a supplement application form, which is available from City, County or City and County Councils (these are the registration authorities) and on-line at Completed forms must be received by the registration authority for the area in which you reside by Tuesday 8 May, 2018.

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 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 up to Saturday 28 April for inclusion in the supplements to those lists. Application forms are available from City, County or City and County Councils.

In addition to the traditional options of seeking the help of the Presiding Officer or a companion to mark the ballot paper, visually impaired voters will have the option of using a Ballot Paper Template to mark their ballot paper without assistance if they wish to do so. Ballot Paper Templates are being used for the first time at this referendum.  The Ballot Paper Templates will be available at every polling station.

The Minister has appointed Barry Ryan, a Principal Officer in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, to be the referendum returning officer for the referendum. The Minister also took the opportunity to encourage Local 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 Local Returning Officers to consider employing suitable persons who are unemployed”, the Minister said.

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