General Election 2016: Essential Voter Information

Thu, January 28, 2016

YIYVFinalYour Ireland, Your Vote!

With the General election drawing closer, it can be quite a confusing time for potential voters with so much election information to know. Because of this, Nasc would like to highlight some of the most relevant voter details.

Who Should You Vote For?

Although this is a very personal decision, there are some tools out there to help you talk to your candidates and choose the person you believe will best represent your interests in the Dáil.

Smartvote.ie is a great resource to check out. You answer a short series of questions and the results help determine what candidate in your constituency is the best fit.  Or try Which Candidate.

It helps to know what issues are most important to you, and to ask questions of candidates when they come knocking on your door.  If issues relating to migration and integration are important to you, SPIRASI have compiled an excellent summary of where the various parties stand on migration and asylum issues, based on their election manifestos.  You can access the summaries on SPIRASI’s Facebook page here.

Nasc have compiled a list of migration and integration related questions to ask candidates, which you might find useful:

Nasc Migration & Integration Related Questions for Candidates:

1.       Do you support reforms to immigration legislation and policy, to ensure that migrants have access to justice and rights, including:

a.       The introduction of an independent appeals mechanism for immigration decisions;

b.      A statutory framework facilitating family reunification for all legal residents, including Irish citizens;

c.       The establishment of a permanent residency status?

 

2.       Will you ensure that Ireland does more to support refugees and asylum seekers who are seeking protection in Ireland and Europe, by:

a.       Promoting safe and legal migration channels into Ireland and Europe, for example a new Humanitarian Admission Programme for Syrians

b.      Strengthening Ireland’s support of the globally displaced by adequately implementing and resourcing the Relocation and Resettlement Programme;

c.       Ensuring that the people currently in the asylum and direct provision systems are not forgotten, by implementing in full the recommendations in the Report of the Working Group on the Protection Process and Direct Provision?

 

3.       Will you promote integration and combat racism and other hate motivated crimes by:

a.       Pushing for the introduction of hate crime legislation;

b.      Ensuring that the measures outlined in the upcoming National Integration Strategy are implemented and adequately resourced;

c.       Calling for legislation and flanking measures to proscribe ethnic profiling by state agencies and bodies?

You can download it here to print and leave by your front door for when candidates come knocking.

Why Should You Register to Vote?

Voting in elections is one way of letting public representatives know that you want your voice to be heard and that you want to contribute to Irish society as active citizens.

Candidate who are looking for your votes will pay more attention to your needs if they know that you are voting.

Politicians make the laws and policies which affect you, your voice is your vote! #YourIrelandYourVote

Who can register to vote in the General Election? 

Only Irish and UK citizens can vote in General Elections. A General Election is where you vote for the 166 TDs (Teachta Dáila – Members of Parliament).  General Elections are held every 5 years.

In order to vote in the General Election, you must register to be included in the Register of Electors. Being registered to vote means you can participate in deciding who represents you.

To be eligible to be included in the amended register of electors, you must be:

  • An Irish or British citizen
  • 18 years of age on the day of the election
  • Your name must be on the Register of Electors

How do I know if I am on the register? 

The register is available for inspection in all local authority offices, post offices, Garda stations and public libraries. You can check online by simply clicking into the website checktheregister.ie.

If I am not on the register, is it too late to register? 

No, you still have some time! You can apply to be included in a supplementary register up until 14 days before the General Election (this excludes public holidays, Sundays and Good Friday).  The supplementary application form RFA2 has to be submitted to your local authority (for example, Cork City Council Franchise Office). The form must be stamped by a member of An Garda Síochána in your local Garda station, to verify your identity.

You can download the form directly from here.  You can also find it at your local authorities, post offices and public libraries. Forms are also available in Nasc’s reception area.

What if I am registered but my address is wrong? Or what if I am registered for local elections but I have become an Irish citizen since then? 

If you are on the register but have since moved from that location then you can apply to change your address by downloading the RFA3 Application Form from here.

Also, persons who are already registered but were not a citizen of Ireland on the qualifying date for the register in November but have since became a citizen of Ireland can download and complete the RFA5 Application Form here.

Subsequently, you can find both these forms at your local authorities, post offices and public libraries. Don’t forget you also need to get those stamped by your local authority!

 Other #GE16  News

Nasc will be hosting several events over the next few weeks in the lead up to General Election, including a Voter Registration Open Day in Cork City Hall on 8th February.  Watch this space for more details!

Voter Reg Day Cover 1If you are interested in volunteering for Nasc’s ‘Your Ireland, Your Vote’ campaign, please contact jennifer@nascireland.org or ring (021) 450 3462.

“Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson