Those wishing to vote in next year’s General Election has been urged to make sure they are enrolled on the Register of Electors by the 2020 deadline next Monday.
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has particularly urged young people to register to vote before the deadline on November 25, and said registering now will mean less red tape than enrolling next year.
James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director said Census 2016 figures indicate that there are 689,996 people aged 18 to 29 in Ireland, which represents a potentially large youth vote.
“We know from our work with young people that the vast majority want to vote but not all are aware they have to register. This is particularly an issue among the thousands of young people who turned 18 and became eligible to vote in recent months,” he said.
Those unsure whether they are registered or not can check online at checktheregister.ie.
“Anyone not currently registered can apply to be included in the annual revision of the register,” Mr Doorley said.
“All you have to do is fill out a RFA form, which is available on checktheregister.ie or in local post offices, Garda stations, council offices, and send it to your county or city council by Monday, November 25, in order to make sure they will be able to cast their ballot in future elections or referendums,” he said.
Anyone 18 or older on or before February 15 2020 can apply.
“This does not just apply to those currently aged 18-29 years. Any person who turned 18 since the last election or referendum and is not registered, but also any young person who is currently 17, but will turn 18 by the February 15, 2020, can apply for inclusion in the 2020/2021 register,” Mr Doorley said.
The 2020/2021 electoral register only applies from February 15 2020, so the 2019/2020 register would be used for any election or referendum held before then.
One of the privileges of living in a democracy is the right to have a say in who represents us at local level and who governs us at national level.
“We only get the chance to have our say every four or five years in general elections, so it is important that all citizens, especially young people who have recently gained that right, make sure they can exercise their franchise by being registered to vote in time, and we strongly recommend they do so on or before the upcoming deadline on Monday, November 25 next,” he said.