If you have applied and been approved for Irish citizenship, you have the right to vote in all referenda and elections in Ireland. In order however to exercise that right, you must ensure that your name has been entered on the Electoral Register.
If you are resident in Ireland but not an Irish citizen, you also have the right to vote in some of the elections.
A new Electoral Register is compiled each year and is published on 1 November. Resident Irish citizens are entitled to vote at all elections and they are identified by the letter 'P' after their names on the register. Resident British citizens can vote in local, European and Dáil elections and are identified by the letter 'D'. Resident EU citizens can only vote in local and European elections and have a letter 'E' after their names. Those identified by the letter 'L' opposite their name (non-EU citizens) can only vote at local elections.
You can inspect the register or draft register during working hours at the offices of your local authority or county registrar and at public libraries, post offices and Garda stations. You can also check if you are registered by entering your details on the Register of Electors online enquiries website.
A draft register is compiled on 1 November each year. You have until 25 November to make a correction or have your name included. You may be asked for documents such as a birth certificate or a certificate of naturalisation in order to prove your eligibility to vote. The amended register is then published in February.
If you are qualified to vote but have missed the deadline to include your name on the register, you can apply to be included in a Supplement to the Register, which will allow you to vote at any election or referendum held during the year. You can apply for inclusion on the Supplemental Register at least 15 days before polling day (Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday are not counted as days for this purpose).
You must be at least 18 years of age on 15 February, the day the register comes into force.
While you may be entitled to register as a voter due to your residency, there may be a limit on the types of elections in which you can vote. The registration authority will need to know your citizenship because this will determine the elections at which you may vote.
The right to vote is as follows:
You must be registered at one address only and you must live at that address on 1 September before the register comes into force. If you live away from the address at which you are registered, (for example, if you are a student living away from home), you will need to contact the registration authority and give them your new address.
If you leave your address but you plan to return there within 18 months, you can continue to be registered there, as long you do not register at any other address.
If you are an Irish citizen living abroad you cannot be entered on the register of electors. This means that you cannot vote in an election or referendum here in Ireland. (The only exception to this is in the case of Irish officials on duty abroad (and their spouses) who may register on the postal voters list).
You will normally be required to vote in person at an official voting centre, however, you may be eligible for a postal vote if you are:
You may also be eligible for a postal vote if you cannot go to a polling station because:
Applications for inclusion on the list of postal voters must be received by 25 November at the latest. If you are registered as a postal voter, you may vote by post only. You may not vote at a polling station.
You may also qualify to be on a list of special voters who live in hospitals, nursing homes or similar institutions and who wish to vote at these locations. Applications to be entered on the special voters list must be made by 25 November and, in the case of a first application, must be accompanied by a medical certificate.
If you are eligible for the postal voters list or the special voters list but are not included, you can apply for inclusion in the relevant supplement to the lists. The latest date for receipt of applications is two days after the date of dissolution of the Dáil in the case of a general election or two days after the order appointing polling day for other elections or referenda. You can find out more in our document on registering to vote.
Application forms for inclusion on the Electoral Register, Special Voters List, Postal Voters List and Correction of the draft electoral register are available from all local authorities, post offices and public libraries.
Questions regarding your right to vote, should be addressed to the Franchise Section of your local authority.
There are various application forms for voting including
You should contact your local authority for application forms for inclusion on the Supplement to the Postal Voters List or the Supplement to the Special Voters List.
If you have changed address since the last election and wish to be included in the Supplement to the Electoral Register, you will need to complete a Change of Address form (pdf).
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.