Abortion referendum: The dos and don'ts of casting your vote

Leave the jumpers and badges at home and make sure to bring ID as polls open from 7am

President Michael D. Higgins, joined by his wife Mrs. Sabina Higgins, has cast his vote in the abortion referendum at St. Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Video: Bryan O'Brien

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The ballot paper in Friday’s abortion referendum will ask people if they wish to approve the Thirty-Sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill.

The Bill seeks to repeal Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, the Eighth Amendment, which was inserted after a referendum in 1983, and for provision to be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.

Voters should have received their polling card by post in recent weeks and this should be brought to the polling station.

On arrival at the polling station you will be asked to state your name and address. You may be required to produce evidence of identity - such as a passport, driving licence or work ID card - and, if you fail to do so, you may not be allowed to vote.

Where the presiding officer is satisfied as to the elector’s identity, a ballot paper is stamped and handed back to the person voting.

The voter indicates whether he or she approves of the proposal by marking an “X” in either the “Yes” box or the “No” box on the ballot paper.

The polls will open at 7 am and close at 10pm. It is illegal to campaign or canvass within 50m of the polling station and this includes posters or literature.

While wearing merchandise is not strictly prohibited, it is up to each individual returning officer to decide what is allowed and what is prohibited. Therefore, it is probably wise to leave your jumpers and badges at home.

All photography and videography is banned in polling stations. The rule is aimed at protecting the secrecy of the ballot box and your vote.

The count will take place from 9am Saturday and a final result will be known later in the day.

More than 3.2 million people are eligible to vote. Figures from the Department of Housing show 188,389 people were added to the supplementary register for this referendum including 4,957 from Meath, 9,049 from Cork and 7,413 in Kildare.

Abortion: The Facts

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