Register of Electors
What do you want to do?
- Check the register - are you on it?
- Get onto the register - download the form (RFA) Irish Version (RFA)
- On the register but I have changed address? download the RFA3 form Irish Version (change of address)
Contact the register of electors? Tel. (053) 9196255 or (053) 9196270
Index of Content
- Conditions for Registration
- Change of Residence/Address
- Preparation of Register
- Postal Voters List
- Special Voters List
- Inspecting the Register
- Registration Law
- Other Information
- Downloadable Forms
- 2006 Polling Scheme map
In order to be able to vote at an election or referendum, a person's name must be entered on the register of electors for the locality in which the elector ordinarily resides. Registration authorities (county councils and city corporations) are required by law to prepare and publish a register of electors every year. To apply to be registered, fill out the Registration Form Form RFA - English Version or Form RFA - Irish Version and return it to the local authority. The register comes into force on 15th February and is used at each election, and referendum held in the succeeding 12 months. (Registration Forms are available from local authorities, urban councils, garda stations, post offices and libraries.)
Please note it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that you are registered.
Completed forms should be returned to the following address:Franchise Section,
Wexford County Council,
The conditions are:
- Age: a person must be at least 18 years of age on the day the register comes into force (15th February). Every resident aged 18 and upwards is entitled to be on the register.
- Citizenship: while every adult resident is entitled to be registered, the registration authority needs to know a person's citizenship because this determines the elections a person may vote at. The qualifying date for citizenship is 1st September preceding the coming into force of the register. The right to vote is as follows:
- Irish citizens may vote at every election and referendum;
- British citizens may vote at Dail, European and local elections;
- Other EU citizens may vote at European and local elections;
- Non-EU citizens may vote at local elections only.
- Residence: a person must be ordinarily resident at the address in question on 1st September preceding the coming into force of the register. A person may be registered for one address only. If a person has more than one address (e.g. person living away from home to attend college or in connection with employment), the registration authority should be told which address the person wishes to be registered for. A person who leaves his/her ordinary residence with the intention of returning there within eighteen months can continue to be registered there, subject to the over-riding condition that a person may be registered at one address only. A person who is absent on a temporary basis from his/her ordinary address, for example on holiday, in hospital or in the course of employment, should be registered for that address. A visitor or person staying temporarily at the address should not be registered.
If you wish to change your voting constituency due to change of address please fill in an RFA3 form (currently being reviewed).
During September/October the registration authority carries out house-to-house or other local enquiries for the purpose of preparing the draft register. In many cases, this will involve delivering registration (Form RFA) forms to households for completion. A registration authority may require a person to produce documentary evidence in support of eligibility to vote e.g. a birth certificate or a certificate of naturalisation in the case of citizenship. The draft register is published on 1st November and is made available for examination at post offices, public libraries, Garda stations, courthouses and local authority offices up to 25th November. The public are invited to check the draft during this period to make sure that they are correctly registered.
Any errors or omissions in the draft should be brought immediately to the attention of the registration authority. Claims for the addition or deletion of names are ruled on by the county registrar who is a legally qualified court officer. The ruling is made in public and any person may attend and give evidence. Interested persons are notified of the county registrar's decision. An appeal may be made in the circuit court against a county registrar's decision.
The final register is published on 1st February and comes into force, for a year, on 15th February.
Registration authorities prepare a postal voters list as part of the register of electors. Applications for inclusion in the list must be received by 25th November at the latest. Applications to the Supplement are accepted, the closing date for postal voters to be included in the supplement is the day the order for an Election or Referendum is signed. An elector whose name is entered in the postal voters list may only vote by post at an election or referendum.
The following categories of persons can be registered as postal voters:
- electors with a physical illness or disability who are living at home Form PV1
electors who are unable to vote at their polling station due to circumstances of occupation etc.: employees and students etc. Form PV2
- whole-time members of the Defence Forces members who live in military barracks may be registered either at the barracks or at their home address;
- Irish diplomats posted abroad and their spouses - they are registered at their home address in Ireland.
Members of the Garda Siochana (police force) have the option of being registered as ordinary electors or as postal voters. In either case, they are registered at their home address. An elector registered as a postal voter may vote by post only and may not vote at a polling station.
Registration authorities also prepare a list of special voters as part of the register of electors. Voters with physical disabilities or illness who are residing in a Nursing Home or Hospital are included in this list. In order to qualify, an elector's physical disability must be likely to continue for the duration of the register and prevent him/her from going to the polling station to vote. To apply fill out the application form for entry into the Special Voters List Form SV1.
Applications to be entered on the special voters list must be made by 25th November and in the case of a first application must be accompanied by a medical certificate.
Electors on the special voters list vote by marking a ballot paper delivered to them by a special presiding officer accompanied by a Garda.
If a person is not included in the register of electors currently in force but considers that he/she qualifies for registration, the person may, apply for entry in a supplement to the register which is published prior to polling day at each election and referendum. To apply, fill out the application form for entry to the Supplement. (Form RFA2) In order to qualify, a person must meet the citizenship, residence and age requirements which apply to the register concerned. Application for entry in the supplement must be received by the registration authority at least 14 working days before polling day in order to be considered for that election or referendum. If a person is on the register but has changed address (to a different Local Electoral Area ) then Form RFA 3 should be completed and returned to the registration authority at least 14 working days before polling day. The closing date for postal voters to be included in the supplement is three days after the order for an Election or Referendum is signed. Persons entered in the supplement are entitled to vote at elections/referenda held during the currency of the register.
Any one person may inspect the register or draft register during working hours at the offices of the registration authority or the county registrar and at public libraries, post offices and Garda stations. A copy of the register, or extracts, may be purchased from the registration authority for a fee of sixty three cent for the first hundred names, plus thirteen cent for each subsequent hundred names. Copies of the register are provided free to elected public representatives and election candidates.
The law in relation to the registration of electors is set out in Part 11 of and the Second Schedule to the Electoral Act, 1992 (IRL13.35). The Act is available from the Government Publications Sale Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.
Information leaflets regarding the Register of Electors are available in the following languages:
Other information in the form of leaflets is available from the Department of the Environment as follows:
- How the President is elected
- The Referendum in Ireland
- How the Dail (Lower House of Parliament) is elected
- How the Seanad (Senate or Upper House of Parliament) is elected
- How Members of Local Authorities are elected
- European Parliament: How Ireland's representatives are elected
- Information for Voters With Disabilities.
* Please note that forms can be downloaded in .pdf format. To view .pdf files you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download free Adobe Acrobat Reader Software.
General: To apply to be registered please fill in the following registration form and return it to the local authority.
Postal Voters List:
- electors with a physical illness or disability who are living at home Form PV1
- electors who are unable to vote at their polling station due to circumstances of occupation etc.: employees and students etc. (Form PV2)
Special Voters List: People residing in Nursing Homes or Hospitals (Form SV1 )
Change of address: This form will be available from the Franchise Department - Tel. (053) 9196255 or (053) 9196270
Supplement: If a person is not included in the register of electors currently in force but considers that he/she qualifies for registration, the person may, apply for entry in a supplement to the register which is published prior to polling day at each election and referendum.
This form will be available from the Franchise Department, Tel. (053) 9196255 or (053) 9196270
Completed forms should be returned to the following address:
- PV1 (PDF Document, 6 kbs)
- PV2 (PDF Document, 17 kbs)
- SV1 (PDF Document, 11 kbs)
- 2006 Polling Scheme map (PDF Document, 1,002 kbs)