Over three million eligible to vote in referendum


THE VOTE:MORE THAN three million voters will be eligible to vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum tomorrow.

The votes will be counted on Saturday.

Polling stations will open at 7am tomorrow and will be open until 10pm.

Polling cards and a statement of information are due to have been sent to all voters but people are entitled to vote whether or not they have received the card.

However, any voter may be required to produce evidence of identity at a polling station and anyone who fails to do so when asked will not be allowed to vote.

A range of documents will be accepted as evidence of identity. They include a passport, driving licence; employee or student identity card containing name and photograph, a travel document containing name and photograph, a bank book with an address in the constituency, a birth certificate or a marriage certificate.

The ballot paper for the referendum will be white. If voters wish to approve the proposal they should put an X in the square beside TÃ/YES or, if they do not approve, they should mark X in the square beside NÍL/NO.

While voters should mark X in the box, any clear sign of their preference such as 1 in the relevant box will be taken as a valid vote. If a mark is put in both boxes then the vote will be invalid.

All political activity will be prohibited in the vicinity of polling stations for the duration of the poll and for half an hour before and after.

According to the Department of the Environment, the prohibition will apply to “loitering, congregating, canvassing in any form, display or distribution of posters, notices, cards or any other documents relating to the referendum and the use of loudspeakers or any public address system”.

The prohibition will apply in relation to the grounds in which the polling station is situated and within 50m (164ft) of any entrance to the grounds.

After the polls close the ballot boxes used at each polling station will be brought to the count centre for the constituency concerned. They will be opened at 9am on Saturday morning and counting will begin with the verification of the number of papers in the ballot boxes followed by the counting of votes for each side.

The results of each constituency count will then be forwarded to the count centre in Dublin Castle.

Electors with a physical illness or physical disability resident in a hospital, nursing home or similar institution who are included in the special voters list may vote at their hospital, nursing home, etc.

Ballot papers will be delivered to them by a special presiding officer.

Electors with a physical disability who have difficulty in securing access to the polling station for their locality were entitled to apply to the local returning officer to be authorised to vote at a more accessible station in the same constituency.