Voting begins on offshore islands

 

Most of the country¿s offshore islands are voting today in the local and European elections.

Polling booths opened at 7am on inhabited islands off the west coast and will stay open until 10pm.

The largest number of votes is expected to be on Inis Mór, which has a population of 824 people.

The seven islands off Co Cork will vote with the rest of the country tomorrow.

Polling for the European, local and two byelections takes place tomorrow between 7am and 10pm.

There will be at least two ballot papers in each polling station ¿ the European poll and the city or council poll. In town areas ¿ excluding Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway - there will also be borough or town council polls. In Dublin South and Dublin Central, there will be three papers.

A total of 264 polls will be held: four to determine the 12 MEPs and 258 polls to elect 1,627 councillors in 114 local authorities, including city, county, town and borough councils. One TD will be elected in byelections in each of the Dublin South and Dublin Central Dáil constituencies.

Every Irish citizen aged 18 or over is entitled to vote in the European elections, while every resident in Ireland who is over 18 and is included on the register of electors, irrespective of nationality, is entitled to vote in local elections.

Every person who is an Irish or British citizen and who is on the register of electors in the relevant constituency may vote in the byelections.

All voters attending polling stations may be asked to produce evidence of identity.

Counting in the local elections and the byelections will begin at 9.00am on Saturday. Counting in the European elections starts the following day at 9.00pm.

Results of the byelections are expected on Saturday evening, as are partial results in the local elections. Full local election results are due to be ready by Sunday night.

A count of European election first preference votes is expected to be completed late on Sunday night. Full results will not be available until Monday afternoon at the earliest.

Full election coverage at http://www.irishtimes.com/indepth/elections2009/