Voting in Ireland - making sure you are registered


It is going to be a big year for Irish democracy.
There will be at least seven referenda in Ireland in 2018.  These will include an opportunity to decide whether Irish citizens should have the right to vote while abroad, and the long awaited vote on the eighth amendment. The Taoiseach is yet to formally announce any details, however we do know that you must be registered by November 25th 2017 to vote.


Are you eligible to vote in the upcoming referenda?

To vote in Ireland in 2018, you must;

  • be an Irish citizen,

  • be 18 years old by February 15th 2018,

  • have been ordinarily resident at an address in Ireland on September 1st 2017,

  • have been out of the country for less than 18 months.

What does it mean to be ‘ordinarily resident’ in Ireland?

‘Ordinarily resident’ means your primary/permanent place of residence is an address in Ireland. If you are temporarily living away from that address but you plan to return within 18 months, you can stay on the voting register.


Checking the register:

The register of electors is frequently refreshed, so even if you appeared on the 2017-18 register, there's no guarantee that you will be on the live electoral register for 2018-19. If you are not listed on you must apply via post before November 25th.

Can I vote from overseas?
No, unless you are an Irish official or the spouse of one.

How do I register or update my details?

Voter registration is done via post.  Simply fill out and send the relevant form (below) to your local county council by November 25th

First Time Voters - Form RFA 
This form is for anyone who has never been registered to vote. This form registers all voters in your household.

Recent Irish citizenship - Form RFA 5 
This form is for those who have become Irish citizens within the last year.

Previously Registered Voters - Form RFA 1 
This form is for previously registered voters who are not listed on

Change of  Address - Form RFA 3 
Use this form if you need to update your current address details.


Key Dates and Action Items:

  • November 1st 2017: The draft register for 2018-19 is published. Check the register on this date to ensure you're on the register and your details are correct.

  • November 25th 2017: DEADLINE for sending change forms to your local county council if you're not on the draft register or your details are incorrect.

  • February 1st 2018: The day the live electoral register is published.

  • February 15th 2018: The day the live electoral register comes into force. If you will be 18 and eligible to vote on this date, ensure you're on the register.

  • 14 days prior to the referendum: The deadline for being added to the supplementary register. You can be added to the supplementary register if your details (e.g. eligibility or address) have changed since February 1st. A supplementary register is typically created when an election or a referendum is announced.

Sources and Useful Links:

Hannah Little