Over 3.2m people have registered to vote in Eighth Amendment referendum

By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Political Correspondent

Update 11.44pm: More than 3.2 million people have registered to vote in Friday's historic Eighth Amendment referendum - with more than twice as many new voters expected to be on the list compared to the 2015 marriage equality referendum.

Initial figures released this morning show the surge in voter registration has taken place before the "once in a generation" May 25 vote on Ireland's abortion laws.

While official figures compiled by all local authorities will not be confirmed by the Department of Environment until later this week, initial figures show 3.2 million people are registered to vote in Friday's referendum.

This rate is up significantly from the 2016 general election and the 2015 marriage equality referendum.

While 66,000 new voters were added to the voter registration list in the 2015 marriage equality referendum, it is expected the number of new voters for this Friday could be double that rate.

The National Youth Council of Ireland said it expects up to 125,000 people have been added to the voter list between February and the cut-off point on May 8

“We know that a lot of work was done by a range of organisations in late 2017 and many thousands of eligible voters were added to the electoral register.

"It is really heartening that so many young people responded to the call by NYCI and others and took the opportunity to register at events organised by the Union of Students Ireland, SpunOut, individual student unions and community groups in recent weeks to ensure they had the right to vote in the upcoming referendum,” said NYCI deputy director James Doorley.

Earlier: Up to 125,000 extra young people have registered to vote

With just five days left until polling day in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment, a youth organisation is predicting that up to 125,000 extra young people have registered to vote.

The National Youth Council of Ireland - which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide - says the prediction is based on returns received by NYCI from councils to date.

The NYCI says - if replicated in all 31 city and county councils - this would indicate that up to 125,000 people were added to the supplementary electoral register between February and the recent May 8 deadline.

Meanwhile, the Union of Students in Ireland is helping young people to get home to vote with a new carpooling campaign.

It has launched a new platform called #VoterMotor giving students the opportunity to link up with others who are travelling to their local polling station on May 25.

- Digital Desk

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