Four national youth organisations are advising the 460,000* young people eligible to vote in the upcoming abortion referendum to ‘check the register’ before the May 8th voter registration deadline.
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), youth website SpunOut.ie and LGBTI youth organisation BeLonGTo are all urging young people aged between 18 and 25 to ensure their voices are heard in the May 25th poll by making sure they are registered.
Anyone not registered by the May 8th deadline will not be able to vote in the referendum.
The youth groups are also reminding the 122,000* young people who have turned 18 since the last general election in 2016 to register before the deadline.
Any young person who turns 18 years of age on or before May 25th can register and has the right to vote in the upcoming referendum.
Young people are being advised to visit checktheregister.ie to make sure they are registered and if not, to complete the RFA2 form to register or the RFA3 form to change their address.
The USI are running voter registration drives on campuses all across Ireland in partnership with local Student Unions to register as many young people as possible before May 8th. Forms will be provided and local Gardai will be on campuses to stamp completed forms.
For more information on the registration process young people can visit SpunOut.ie/vote
James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director said:
“Despite some perceptions and commentary, official figures on recent elections indicate that voter turnout among young people is on the increase. We know from our work and the work of our 50 member organisations that young people care about the issues and want to have their say in democratic decisions. That’s why it’s so important that they make sure they are on the register by May 8th so that they can make their voices heard.”
SpunOut.ie Executive Director Ian Power said:
“A number of young people checking the register in the last few weeks have reported to us they have been removed since the last time they voted. This can often happen as local authorities attempt to clean the registers. We would advise everyone who wants to vote on May 25th to check the register and make sure they’re on it by the May 8th deadline.”
USI President Michael Kerrigan said:
“Registering to vote is now part of coming to college. First years now get a student card, and a voter registration form. The Marriage Equality referendum showed students that voting can make a real difference, and this was evident from the queues of students up and down the country in General Election 2016. It’s important for students to be registered to vote to have the chance to elect people who have young people’s interests at heart, and have a say in the numerous referendums coming up. We’re urging students to go onto www.checktheregister.ie and check if you’re already registered to vote. If not, call into your Students’ Union to get the RFA2 form to register to vote.”
BeLonGTo Executive Director Moninne Griffith said:
“We saw the significant impact the youth vote had on the Marriage Equality referendum in 2015, and we hope to see a similar turnout in the upcoming referendum on the removal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. It is vital all young people are registered so they can have their say on one of the most important human rights issues of a generation.”