Voting rights of new Irish residents and Irish people living abroad

Introduction

To vote in Ireland, you must be:

To register to vote you must have been ordinarily resident in Ireland on 1 September of the year before the Register of Electors comes into force. The Register comes into force on 15 February every year.

You are still ordinarily resident at your address in Ireland if your absence from the State is temporary (you intend to return to your address in Ireland within 18 months of leaving it).

If you live in Ireland and are not an Irish citizen, you can read about which elections you are entitled to vote in.

New residents and returning Irish citizens

If you move to Ireland after 1 September, you cannot be entered onto the register for the following year, unless you were outside Ireland temporarily.

The Electoral Act 1992 says that you will continue to be deemed ordinarily resident at your address in Ireland if you intend to return within 18 months.

Irish citizens abroad

If you are an Irish citizen living abroad, and you have lived - or intend to live - abroad for more than 18 months, you cannot be added to the Register of Electors unless you are an Irish official on duty abroad (or their spouse or civil partner).

In its fifth report in 2013, the Convention on the Constitution recommended that Irish citizens resident outside the State should have the right to vote in presidential elections. Following this recommendation, the Government announced plans for a referendum to amend the Constitution to allow Irish citizens living outside the State (including in Northern Ireland) to vote in presidential elections.

A date for this proposed referendum has not been finalised.

Further information

You can find out more about elections and referendums in general and about registering to vote.

If you have questions about your right to vote, contact the Franchise Section of your local authority.

Franchise Section

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Custom House
Dublin 1
D01 W6X0
Ireland

Tel: (01) 888 2000
Locall: 1890 20 20 21

Page edited: 16 January 2020