Frequently Asked Questions
We've listed and answered some of the most asked questions about voting and the register below.
I have filled out the form to be registered to vote so why can I not find my details on Check the Register?
There are a number of possible reasons you may not be able to find your details:
- The spelling of an address may be different to the address on Check the Register. E.g. Ballymain instead of Ballymaine. You should ensure that you have selected the correct Townland/Street from the Drop Down List.
- Has your house got a number? If so, enter this house number where requested.
- Did you enter your FULL first name and surname? Have you entered the correct first name? Did you apply to be registered as Joe or Joseph? Marie or Maria?
- Check for Surnames with O’, Mac and Mc in terms of spacing in between e.g. O’Kelly or O Kelly? McCarthy or Mc Carthy?
- Variation in spelling of names, e.g. Brown-Browne, Mahony-Mahoney, Linda-Lynda.
- Did you try to access your details by entering the Eircode for your residence?
It may also be that your completed Registration Form has not yet been received or processed by the local authority.If you are in doubt please check with your local authority.
What is the Live Register?
The Live Register is published on February 1st each year and comes into force on February 15th. It is used at each election and referendum held in the following 12 months. Being on the Live Register does not automatically entitle a person to vote in ALL elections. To check which elections you can vote in please check your Election Type on your personal details screen. Printed copies of the Live Register are available to be viewed at local authority offices, Post Offices, Garda stations and libraries.
What is the Draft Register?
The Draft Register is published on November 1st each year. It forms the basis of the next Live Register. If you have made an application (RFA Form) to the local authority to be included in the next register of electors and you are not included in the draft register published on 1 November, or if you are on the draft register but your details are incorrect, you should claim to have a correction made by completing the RFA1 Application Form and submitting it to your local authority by 25 November. Printed copies of the Draft Register are available to be viewed at local authority offices, Post Offices, Garda stations and libraries.
What is the Supplementary Register?
If your circumstances have changed since the last Live Register was produced you may apply to be added to a Supplementary Register. The Supplementary Register is generated after an election/referendum has been announced. This allows for people who may be entitled to be included on the Register to apply for inclusion up to 14 days before Polling Day. The Supplementary Register would typically consist of electors who will be 18 years old by the date of the election/referendum or electors who have changed address since the last Live Register was published. Persons who are not registered to vote must complete the RFA2 Application Form. Persons who are applying for a change of address must apply on the RFA3 Application Form. Persons who have become an Irish Citizen and are already registered must apply on the RFA5 Application Form
What to do if you check the register after the 15th February in an election year and you discover you are not on the register?
Complete RFA2 form, have it stamped at your local Garda Siochanna Station and return to the Franchise Section, Fingal County Council, County Hall Main Street, Swords, Co Dublin. Please remember that on polling day your name will appear in the Supplemental Register.
More Detail re the Supplemental Register?
If you didn’t apply in time to be included on the Draft Register then you can apply at any time of the year to be included on the Supplemental Register. You are automatically transferred from the Supplemental Register to the Live Register at the time of Publication of the next Live Register. If you are on the Supplemental Register you will be voting at Table 1 in the designated Polling Location. Polling Cards for those on the Supplement are sent out after those on the Live Register as the closing date for receipt of applications is so close to Polling Day.
What is the latest Date I can apply to go onto the Supplement prior to a Poll?
The latest date is 14 days prior to Polling Day excluding Sundays and Public Holidays. If the Council refuses to accept your application for inclusion you can appeal this decision to the County Registrar.
What to do if you change address?
Complete RFA3 form, have it stamped at your local Garda Siochanna Station and return to the Franchise Section, Fingal County Council, County Hall Main Street, Swords, Co Dublin. Please remember that on polling day your name will appear in the Supplemental Register. You will automatically be placed on the Main Register in respect of the following year.
My name is spelt incorrectly or I want to change some other detail?
Download RFA2 form, have it stamped by An Garda Siochanna and return the form to Fingal County Council.
I can’t find my details on www.checktheregister.ie?
There are several reason why this might be the case
Unless you enter your name and address exactly are they are listed on the register then you won’t find your details. For example you search for Main Street when it is called Main Road on the Register.
Can your name be spelt another way for example O’Donnell, ODonnell, O Donnell, or Claire, Clare etc. Unless you are spelling it the way it is entered on the system you won’t be able to find your records. Every effort is made to ensure your name is spelt correctly. If it isn’t please let us know and it can be amended.
You are on the supplemental register which is not viewable online.
You are on the draft register. Each year the Council updates the Register of Electors. An Inspector calls to each property and leaves an RFA form if no reply is received at the door. If the form you filled in did not require witness by an Garda Siochanna then you filled in an application to be included in next years draft register. You are not on the Register of Electors until after the 15th February of the following year.
Can I amend another persons Voting Details on their behalf?
The only circumstances this is permitted are as follows:
During the preparation of the Draft Register when a Council Inspector calls to your home to verify the voter details at that property. If you find that the previous occupants are still registered to vote you can inform the Inspector that those people are not longer resident.
In the event of the death of a close family relative. The Council will confirm the details independently.
In the event of the medical condition of a close family changing to the point that they can longer vote. Medical Evidence in the form of confirmation from the individuals GP is required.
I am no longer on the Register but didn’t ask to be removed?
Each year the Council updates the Register by calling to each address. The Inspector asked the person who answered the door to confirm if those listed on the Register still were ordinarily resident. If the Inspector was informed no then you would be removed. This happens most frequently where people no longer live with their parents. Their parents inform the Inspector that the person has moved out to their own home. The next most frequent is you moved house and didn’t re-register. The new occupants of your previous address would have informed the Council that you were no longer resident.
I turned 18 during this year but am not registered to vote?
If the Inspector received no reply at the door and no one in your household returned the RFA form then the Council has no way of knowing you live at a particular property or that you have turned 18. Each individual must apply to register to vote personally.
I have moved address but my records were not updated?
It is your obligation to update your records and ensure they are accurate.
I did not receive my Polling Card can I still vote?
Yes. The Polling Card simply tells you when and where to vote. You do not require it to vote. You can confirm the details viawww.checktheregister.ie, on the printed Register in the Library or by contacting the Franchise Section of Fingal County Council at 01-8905992 or email@example.com. It is not a requirement to produce the Polling Card on Polling Day. You are required to have proof of I.D. regardless of whether you have a Polling Card or not.
I am an Irish Citizen living abroad how can I vote?
In order to be eligible to be registered to vote you must be resident in Ireland on the 25th September of each year. If you are not ordinarily resident in Ireland you should not be registered to vote at all. There is no system for Irish Citizen’s who live abroad to be on the Register of Electors or vote. The only exceptions are for members of the Army, Garda Siochanna or Foreign Service posted overseas. These individuals have to apply for a postal vote it is not awarded automatically.
I will be travelling within Ireland on Polling Day can I vote?
If you area aware in advance that you will be away on Polling Day you should apply for a Postal Vote well in advance. You application should contain the reason you require the Postal Vote. Postal votes may be awarded to people who are working away from home or studying in university.
How do I get a position working in a Polling Station or on the Count of the ballot papers?
The County Returning Officer recruits all staff that work on Polling Day and on the Count. Applications can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org. Fingal County Council has no role in awarding any work related to the Polling Station or Count.
I think the address on my Polling Card is wrong what do I do?
The purpose of the Register of Electors is to maintain a list of people eligible to vote. The vast majority of electors are living in estates and have a uniform address i.e. house number, road name, area name. The addresses are entered from the naming and numbering protocols within the Planning Department. The test of accuracy is whether the Polling Card is delivered to you. The Register won’t be changed to reflect a person’s preference to be Portmarnock rather than Baldoyle or Sutton rather than Howth. If your address is Sutton and is mistakenly listed as Howth the records will be changed.
In a rural area the Register is set up on Townland Names. The townland names are strictly monitored to prevent the situation whereby neighbour’s are listed in different townlands. While at some point neighbours are, correctly, in different Townlands the Council does not want a situation whereby people are registered in the incorrect Townland as this leads to errors such as duplicate entries or the wrong person being deleted.
If you feel your address is incorrect to the point where your Polling Card won’t be delivered please contact the Council at email@example.com or telephone (01) 8905000.
I received a letter saying I was being deleted from the register but I can appeal to the County Registrar?
Each year as part of the Draft Register Process amendments have to be made to the Register. The Draft Register is published in November each year. If the Council is making an amendment to your record, subsequent to the publication of the Draft, you are written to notifying you and giving you the opportunity to comment on and appeal the decision.
Is the 25th November the deadline for applying to go on the register?
No. That date is the latest for making amendments to the draft Register for the following year.