Ireland has more young voters than we’ve had in a long time, due to the two big refereda that happened over the last decade, for marriage equality and the repeal of the 8th amendment. Using your vote is a really important way to take control of what happens in our country, and make sure that the issues that we really care about are being addressed by those we choose to represent us.
Up until 102 years ago (which seems like a long time ago, but actually isn’t considering how long we’ve existed), women didn’t have any voting rights. In 1918, we won the right to vote if we were over the age of 30, and had university qualifications. Our full voting rights were finally awarded in 1922, and were hard won by amazing women who fought hard on our behalf.
That’s why its so important that we use that right. Its easy to think that one vote won’t make a difference, but when it comes to politics, every single vote matters.
Most of our readers are aged under 18, but many of you are legally allowed to vote for the first time this election. You’re not automatically included in the register of voters, so here’s how you sign up to get involved….
1: Check the register
There are two ways to check the register, one is to ask to see the Register of Electors at your local post office, Garda station, library or city or county council offices but online is really, really easy. Go to Checktheregister.ie type in your address or Eircode and your name , fingers crossed, its already done. Hey, do it now? We’ll wait.
2: How to Register
The deadline to get on the register is Wednesday January 22nd, so you’d better get moving. You can fill in the online form on Vote.ie or get a hard copy form from your local post office, library, county council and Garda station. Worst case scenario, you can get yourself on what’s called the Supplementary Register until 14 working days before polling day. There’s also a form you can get from any of the usual places called the RFA2 which needs to be witnessed at the garda station (make sure to bring your ID). The closing date for the receipt of these is 14 working days before the Election and is published in local and National Newspapers in the run-up to the General Election.
Remember, if there’s stuff that’s important to you, education, climate change, equality, healthcare, homelessness, mental health, social justice, whatever the case may be, make sure that you use your vote, so we can hopefully, make Ireland a better and more socially just place.