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Voting & Elections

Who can vote in Elections and Referendums?

The Different Registers

2019 Polling Scheme for County Westmeath

European Voters

Postal Voters

Special Voters

Forms

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Further Information

 

Who can vote in Elections and Referendums?

Irish citizens can vote in all elections and referendums.

British citizens can vote in Dáil, European, and local elections.

EU citizens can vote in European and local elections. (See European Voters below)

Non-EU citizens can vote in local elections only.

 

The Different Registers

Register of Electors (Live Register)

Each year, local authorities make a list of all registered voters in their area. This Register of Electors (also called the Live Register) is published on 1 February and comes into force for one year on 15 February.

 

Draft Register

A draft of next year’s Live Register is compiled throughout the year and published on 1 November. If you want to be added to this Draft, you can fill out an RFA form and send it to our Franchise Section.

The Draft Register is available to view between 1 November and 25 November in County Council offices, public libraries, post offices and Garda stations, as well as online at checktheregister.ie.

The Draft Register becomes the Live Register on 1 February of the following year.

 

Supplement to the Register

When an election or referendum is called, a Supplement to the Register is compiled to allow people to register in time for the election or referendum. The deadline for this Supplement is two weeks before polling day (excluding Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday). After this deadline, you will not be able to be registered in time to vote, but you will be registered after the election or referendum.

You are automatically transferred from the Supplement to the Live Register when the new Live Register is published on 1 February. A new Supplement will be created when the next election or referendum is called.

 

What is the Edited Register?

On some registration forms, you will see the option to opt into, or opt out of, the Edited Register. The Edited Register contains the names and addresses of voters who have given permission for their details to be used for other purposes besides voting (for example, marketing). If you leave both boxes blank, you will be presumed to have opted out, and your details will not be included in the Edited Register.

 

2019 Polling Scheme for County Westmeath

Westmeath County Council is required by the Electoral Act of 1992 to make a Polling Scheme for the County.

The Scheme divides the County into Polling Districts for the purpose of Dáil, European, Refernendums and Local Elections and appoints a Polling Place for each Polling District.

The 2019 Polling Scheme for County Westmeath was adopted by the Members of Westmeath County Council on the 25 March 2019.

Polling Scheme 2019

 

European Voters

If you are a citizen of an EU member country (apart from Ireland or the United Kingdom), and you are registering to vote in a European election in Ireland for the first time, you need to complete an EP1 form and send it to the Franchise Section in your Local Authority in Ireland.

The EP1 form tells your Local Authority that you intend to vote in an Irish constituency. The Local Authority will forward your details to your home EU member state so that you will not be able to also vote in the same European elections there. This prevents double voting in European elections.

 

Postal Voters

While most people must vote in person at a polling station, certain groups can cast their vote by post:

  • Irish diplomats who are posted abroad, as well as their spouse or civil partner.
  • Members of An Garda Síochána.
  • Full-time members of the Defence Forces.
  • Voters with a physical illness or disability that would not allow them to vote in person at a polling station. The first time someone applies for this, they must include a medical certificate.
  • Students who are studying full-time at an educational institution in Ireland, which is away from the home address where they are registered. 
  • Voters who are in prison as a result of a court order.
  • Voters who are unable to vote in person because of the nature of their employment (for example, airline crew). These voters would need their employer to support their application for a postal vote.
  • Voters who are working for a returning officer in a different constituency from the one they are registered in.

If you register as a postal voter, you can only vote by post and cannot vote at a polling station.

To register as a Postal Voter, send a PVS1 form (for physical illness or disability), or PVS2 form (for circumstances of occupation), to our Franchise Section.

 

Special Voters

Voters who live in hospitals, nursing homes, or similar institutions can register as special voters, which will allow them to vote at these locations. The first time someone applies for this, their application must include a medical certificate.

To register as a Special Voter, send an SVS1 form to our Franchise Section.

 

Forms

RFA2 - Supplement to Register of Electors - English

RFA2 - Supplement to Register of Electors - Gaeilge

RFA3 - Change of Address - English

RFA3 - Change of Address - Gaeilge

EP1 - European Elector - English

PVS1 - Postal Supplement - Illness or Disability - Bilingual

PVS2 - Postal Supplement - Occupation or Student - English

PVS2 - Postal Supplement - Occupation or Student - Gaeilge

SVS1 - Special Voters Supplement - Bilingual

RFA5 - Change of Citizenship - English

 

 Forms can be delivered in person to Westmeath County Council offices in Mullingar, Athlone or Castlepollard, or can be posted to: 

Franchise Section,

Westmeath County Council,

Áras an Chontae,

Mount Street,

Mullingar

N91 FH4N

 

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve checked the Register after 15 February and I’m not on it. What can I do?

If you are not registered, you can send an RFA form to our Franchise Section and you will be added to the draft of the next Register.

If there is an election/referendum approaching, you can send a RFA2 form and be added to the Supplement to the Register.

 

I’ve changed address. What do I do?

Please send an RFA3 form to our Franchise section and your address will be updated.

 

My details are incorrect. How do I update them?

You can update your details by sending an RFA form to our Franchise Section. 

If there is an election/referendum approaching, please use an RFA2 form so that your details are updated in time for the election/referendum. 

 

I didn’t receive a polling card. Can I still vote?

Yes, you don’t need a polling card to vote. You may, however, be asked for photographic identification at the polling station. Please consult checktheregister.ie or contact our Franchise Section to confirm that your details are correct on the Register.

 

I’m no longer on the Register. Why was I removed?

This may happen when a person changes address and doesn’t re-register. The current occupant of your previous address may have registered to vote and informed the Council that you no longer lived there, and so you would be removed from the register for that address. Please complete an RFA3 form to register at your new address.

 

What measures are in place for voters with disabilities?

There are several arrangements in place to help voters with disabilities, including voting at an alternative polling station, assistance in the polling station, and voting by post. Please contact our Franchise Section for more details or see the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

 

What’s the last date before an election or referendum that I can register to vote?

The deadline to be added to the Supplement to the Register is two weeks (excluding Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday) before polling day.

 

A family member has died. Can I remove them from the Register?

Please contact our Franchise Section and they will remove the deceased individual from the Register. Our Franchise Section regularly monitors death notices to update the Register.

 

How do I get a position working in a Polling Station or on the Count of the ballot papers?

Please contact the Returning Officer for your area. 

 

I registered before but now I have become an Irish citizen. How do I update my details?

Please send a completed RFA5 form to our Franchise Section and they will update your details. A member of An Garda Síochána must witness your form and you must attach evidence of your Irish citizenship, for example a copy of your Certificate of Naturalisation or a copy of the relevant page from your Irish passport.

 

I will be 18 years of age after 15 February but before polling day. Can I still register to vote?

Yes. Send an RFA2 form to our Franchise Section before the deadline for the Supplement (two weeks before polling day excluding Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday) and you will be added to the Supplement to the Register.

 

Is 25 November the deadline for applying to get on the register?

No. 25 November is the last date for making amendments to the Draft Register for the following year. You can still apply to be added to the Supplement until two weeks (excluding Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday) before an election/referendum.

 

Contact Us

You can send your application forms, and any questions you have, to our Franchise Section:

 

Franchise Section,

Westmeath County Council,

Áras an Chontae,

Mount Street,

Mullingar

N91 FH4N

 

Email: registerofelectors@westmeathcoco.ie

Phone: 044 933 2000

 

Further information:

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Citizens Information