The Referendum Commission has launched a nationwide campaign to encourage people to make sure they are registered to vote on the forthcoming referendum on the regulation of divorce and as part of that campaign it is encouraging people in Longford to check the register.
The referendum on the Regulation of Divorce is taking place on Friday, May 24, the same day as the European Parliament and Local Government Elections.
The referendum will ask voters to decide on two questions in relation to divorce, the first on the current living apart provision and the second on giving the Oireachtas express power to legislate for the recognition of foreign divorces.
The Referendum Commission will over the coming weeks be running TV, radio, online and social media advertising to urge people to check if they are registered at checktheregister.ie.
While the Commission’s remit covers the referendum only, being on the electoral register will allow you to vote in the referendum and the European and local elections.
Chairperson of the Referendum Commission, Ms Justice Tara Burns said, “In order to vote, your name has to be on the register of electors for the address at which you normally live and checking if you are registered is really very simple, you can find out by checking at www.checktheregister.ie or you can also check the register in local authority offices, post offices, Garda stations and public libraries.”
“In this referendum we will be asked to vote on a proposal to change the Constitution of Ireland in relation to divorce. The Constitution is the basic law in Ireland. It can only be changed by a vote of the people.
"A Constitutional Referendum, like the one on May 24, is one of those occasions where an important decision is not taken by the Government or the Oireachtas or the courts. Only the people get to decide. It is your day, so make sure your voice can be heard by registering today.”
If you find you are not registered, you can make sure you are added to the supplement to the register by completing a form which you can download from www.checktheregister.ie, or obtain from your local authority, Garda station, post office or public library.
Then you bring the completed form to your local Garda station to have your identity certified, and ensure it gets to your local authority before May 7.
People ordinarily resident at a hospital, nursing home or similar institution who are unable to vote at a polling station can vote at their hospital or nursing home, but only if they register on the Special Voters list.
The closing date for this is April 28 next and application forms are available from your local authority, library, post office, Garda station or at www.checktheregister.ie
Sunday, April 28 is also the deadline to apply for a postal vote. These are available to certain people including Irish diplomats and their families posted abroad, members of the Garda and Defence Forces, prisoners and others who are unable to vote at their local polling station because of their occupation, service or employment.
Students studying full time at an educational institution in Ireland, which is away from the home address where they are registered, can also apply.