Voting in Ireland
Taking an interest in local politics and voting in elections offers an opportunity to directly influence issues which affect you and your family and your daily lives. Depending on your residency status in Ireland, you may be eligible to vote in local, European or in national elections and in national referendums.
To learn more about the local and national Government and the functions of the President and the two Houses of Parliament; Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (Senate), visit the Department of Foreign Affairs website to view the publication ‘Ireland in Brief’.
Right to VoteAll Irish citizens who have reached the age of eighteen years and who are not disqualified by law have the right to vote. If you are legally resident in Ireland but not an Irish citizen, you may also have the right to vote in some of the elections.
The right to vote is as follows:
- Irish citizens may vote at every election and referendum. Only Irish citizens can vote in Presidential Elections
- British citizens may vote at Dáil elections, European elections and local elections
- Other European Union (EU) citizens may vote at European and local elections
- Non-EU citizens may vote at local elections only
The Electoral RegisterA person's name must be entered on the register of electors for the locality in which the elector ordinarily resides. Registration authorities (county and city councils) are required by law to prepare and publish a register of electors every year. The register comes into force on 15th February and is used at each election and referendum held in the succeeding 12 months.
The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government is responsible for the various legislative codes dealing with the registration of electors and the conduct of elections and referendums. The Department offers helpful information in English, Arabic Chinese Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Slovak.
Contact your local county or city council in order to register. They will provide you with the necessary application form. Alternatively visit the website, www.checktheregister.ie to download the application form for inclusion on the Electoral Register. This website also allows you to check if you are already registered with your local county or city council.
If you are listed on the Register of Electors in Ireland, a polling card will be sent to your home before an election or referendum is held. Your polling card will include your elector number and will tell you where you can vote.
Local ElectionsThis is a useful leaflet explaining how members of Local Authorities in Ireland are elected: -
This leaflet is available in Arabic, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian and Slovak
European Parliament ElectionsA leaflet explaining how Members of the European Parliament are elected is available in several languages here: -
European Parliament How Ireland’s MEPs are elected
Evropský parlament Jak se volí irští členové Evropského parlamentu
Parlement européen Élection des députés européens en Irlande
Eiropas Parlaments Kā Īrijā ievēl Eiropas Parlamenta deputātus
Europäisches Parlament Wie Irlands Mitglieder des Europäischen Parlaments gewählt werden
Európai Parlament Az ír képviselők választásáról
Parlamento Europeo Come vengono eletti i membri del Parlamento europeo irlandesi
Europos Parlamentas Kaip renkami Europos Parlamento nariai Airijoje
Parlament Europejski Jak są wybierani irlandzcy członkowie Parlamentu Europejskiego
Parlamento Europeu Como são Eleitos os Deputados Europeus Irlandeses
Parlamentul European Cum sunt aleşi membrii Parlamentului European în Irlanda
Európsky parlament Ako sú volení írski poslanci Európskeho parlamentu
Parlamento Europeo Cómo se elige a los eurodiputados de Irlanda
A number of local authorities have developed initiatives to promote the civic participation of third country nationals in Irish life. Information for migrants in Dublin is available at this link - http://www.integratingdublin.ie/about/
A number of non-governmental organisations, including the New Communities Partnership and the Africa Centre have been involved in the development of initiatives in this area.
For general information on voting in Ireland visit the Citizens Information website.
Doras Luimni have produced a leaflet in several languages, which explains who has the right to vote in Presidential elections.
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