For the upcoming referendum on Repealing the 8th Amendment we figured it would be a good idea to put together a list of rules and guidelines to make sure your voting goes smoothly. It may seem like a simple process, but the amount of votes that go unqualified is shocking! It’s worth your time to have a glance at these 8 points to help you sail through your voting experience.
1) Check The Register
By now I’m sure if you’re looking to vote in this referendum that you’ve checked the register and made sure that your name pops up under your Eircode or address. I know this may seem silly, seeing as it’s already too late to register, but the worst thing that could happen is you showing up to the polling station ready to vote, and realising that you haven’t been properly registered. Always double check on checktheregister.ie to make sure you’re there.
2) Bring A Form Of Identification
Before leaving your house make sure you have a valid form of state identification. These include the obvious; passport, driver’s license, public service cards and also student cards, as long as it contains a photograph of you. Along with them you can also bring a travel document containing your name and photograph or a bank or saving or Credit Union book containing address. The further documents will be accepted if they are accompanied by another document that has proof of address: cheque book, cheque card, credit card, birth certificate and marriage certificate.
3) Do Not Wear Any Political Merchandise
Unfortunately, it is prohibited to wear any item of clothing or merch that has any reference to your views on the referendum to the polling station. This includes repeal jumpers/t-shirts, badges, stickers, anything! Be careful not to leave any pin on your bag or on your jacket when heading to your local polling station. If you enter the station with any kind of merchandise, your vote could be jeopardised and you will be asked to remove all political memorabilia. This is in place to prevent any campaigning at the polling stations.
4) How To Find Your Local Polling Station
To find out where your local polling station so you can cast your vote on the 25th, you can ask your local county council, and it will also be on the polling card that is sent out to your house before the voting day. Usually local clubs or primary schools are used to vote, but make sure you find out which one to go to instead of guessing on your own!
5) Opening Hours
Voting starts at 7am the morning of, and goes on until 10pm that evening. It is good to note that the referendum is on the same date that Life Festival begins, so if you plan on heading to the festival, make sure you are up at 7am to vote before going off to enjoy your weekend.
6) How To Vote
Make sure before you go to the polling station that you have a look at what the polling card looks like and read it carefully. Many things can disqualify your vote at this stage. Make sure to follow the directions, and put an X in the box of your choice. If you tick the box or write Yes/No, it will not count. If you leave a cheeky smiley face, it will not count. If you include anything other than an X in the box, it may disqualify your vote. At nearly every referendum there are hundreds and thousands of unqualified votes due to the lack of information and voting incorrectly.
7) Do Not Take ANY Pictures (Selfies Included)
Be very aware not to take out your camera when at the polling station, as taking selfies, boomerangs, Snapchats etc will threaten your vote. I know it could be tempting to post to your followers that you cast your vote and showing off the proof of it, but PLEASE, under no circumstances take a picture. We’ll believe you.
8) When Are The Results?
Last but not least, you won’t have to wait too long to hear the results. Votes begin to be counted the morning after in every constituency, and is usually closely followed on the news.
If you succeed in following all these guidelines you shouldn’t have any issues when casting your all-important vote! Good luck!