Last chance: Final day to register for abortion vote

Time running out for people to ensure they can take part in May 25th referendum

Voters going to the polls in the 1983 abortion referendum.  File photograph: Pat Langan/The Irish Times

Voters going to the polls in the 1983 abortion referendum. File photograph: Pat Langan/The Irish Times

 

Tuesday is the last day people not already on the electoral register can make sure they will be eligible to vote in the referendum on the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

Ahead of the vote on May 25th, which will ask voters if they want to delete article 40.3.3 of the Constitution – aka the Eighth Amendment – and replace it with a new article allowing the Oireachtas to legislate on abortion, there is still time for voters to make sure they will be able to have their say. But only just.

The website checktheregister.ie shows if you are registered. If you are not, the site has links to forms to download, complete and return to your local-authority office, so you can be included on the supplementary register of electors.

The forms – which are also available from city- and county-council offices, Garda stations, public libraries and post offices – cannot be submitted online, however. Instead you must bring them to your local-authority office.

Completing the application form also requires a trip to a Garda station, so a garda can witness you sign a declaration that the information on the form is true, and complete and stamp its certificate of identity.

If you cannot go to a Garda station the form can be witnessed at your local-authority office – bring photo ID and other supporting identification documentation, such as a utility bill – but in this case you must state in writing why you could not go to a Garda station.

If physical illness or disability means you cannot go to a Garda station or your local-authority office, a doctor must complete the medical-certificate section of the form – which must still be submitted to your local authority by close of business on Tuesday, although not necessarily by the applicant.

If you are 17 you are eligible for inclusion in the supplement to the register of electors as long as you will be 18 on or before May 25th. In this case enclose a copy of your birth certificate or similar document with your application.