The final deadline for registering to vote in next month’s marriage equality referendum is May 5th – next Tuesday. The Yes campaign in particular has been urging young people to register to vote, but even if you are a veteran voter you may need to register your name again.
Many people who have been on the Register of Electors for years have recently discovered that they have been removed from this year’s list, which means they need to register their name again if they want to vote in the upcoming referendum.
My WHOLE FAMILY has just been struck off the register of electors. Six adults, gone. Not one warning/explanation letter sent to the house.
— Cat O Broin (@magicgoeshere) April 25, 2015
Living – and voting – in DubW for more than 30 years & just found out my daughter and I have been removed from Register of Electors. Fuming.
— Gerri O'Neill (@MrsWookie1) April 27, 2015
Awkward moment when I can't find my name on the register of electors, but I've voted before so don't know how this is possible? Help #MarRef
— Dee Campbell (@DeeCaam) April 27, 2015
According to The Irish Independent, nearly 1% of people living in Dublin city were taken off the electoral list earlier this year. The Register of Electors comes into force on February 15th each year and is used at each election and referendum held during the following 12 months. Nearly 2,800 people were taken off the capital city’s register this February. According to the newspaper, this is more than triple the number of voters removed from the register last year.
Dublin City Councillor for Fine Gael, Noel Rock, was responsible for bringing the news to light after making inquiries to the council on behalf of constituents. Commenting on the issue on social media, he said, “Almost 1% of voters have been removed in 12 weeks… [I’ve been] contacted by 20 people since this story who suddenly find themselves off the register despite not moving house. Wild.”
So if you want to vote on May 22nd, especially if you are living in Dublin, it would be a good idea to check here to make sure your name is on the register. But if your name isn’t there, don’t panic straight away. Just to make things even more confusing, last week Dublin City Council also admitted that there is currently a mismatch between the actual Register of Electors and checktheregister.ie. So if you find that you are not appearing on the online register, this may be due to a “mismatch” or because you live on a street that isn’t included on the website. If this happens to you, contact Dublin City Council to double check whether or not you have been struck off the Register of Electors.
If you have disappeared from the list, you still have six days to register your name on the supplemental list so that you can vote in the referendum. Unfortunately, it is not possible to register online. Instead, you will have to print off this form, get it signed by a Garda and post, or drop it in, to your local authority.
On May 22nd the people of Ireland will vote on the issue of same-sex marriage, as well as the age of future presidential candidates. It will be an important day for the LGBT community, as well as many other citizens. Make sure your voice is heard.