Jack Quann
Jack Quann

05.45 8 Feb 2020


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Voting in the 2020 General Election is under way as polling stations opened at 7am this morning.

They will be open until 10pm tonight.

Turnout in the first General Election to be held on a Saturday since 1918 appears to be steady so far.

People can vote if they are an Irish or British citizen, aged 18 or over on polling day and are registered to vote.

Polling cards are issued to voters in the days before polling to tell people where to vote.

A polling card is not needed to vote - however, people may be asked for evidence of identity at the polling station.

The following documents can be used to prove identity:

  • A passport (either a passport card or passport book)
  • A driving licence
  • A workplace identity card (with a photograph)
  • A student identity card (with a photograph)
  • A travel document (with a photograph)
  • A Public Services Card
  • A bank or credit union account book with your name and address in the constituency

If you are asked to prove your identity and you cannot do so, you may not be allowed to vote.

On the ballot paper itself, the names of the candidates appear in alphabetical order - along with an indication of their political party, if any.

A photograph of the candidate and/or a party emblem may also appear on the paper.

An example of a sample ballot paper for a general election | Image: Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Voters must indicate the order of their choice of candidates by writing 1 in the box beside the photograph of their first choice of candidate and, if they wish, 2 beside the photograph of their second choice of candidate, 3 beside the photograph of their third choice and so on.

This allows for their vote to be transferred from their 1st choice to their 2nd choice, if their number 1 candidate has been eliminated or already elected.

If you want to vote for one candidate only, you should mark the number 1 in the box next to the candidate's name.

You should not tick or mark the box with an 'X'.

On polling day, any campaigning is forbidden, and posters must not be displayed within 50 metres of a polling station.

Anyone taking selfies or posting pictures online that reveal who they, or someone else, voted for could be prosecuted.

Image via @IrishAirCorps on Twitter

Voting actually began on Friday, when people living on the islands cast their votes.

Almost 2,200 people on the islands off the Galway, Donegal and Mayo coasts were eligible to vote.

The Air Corps says its 'Alpha Whiskey 277' helicopter spent the morning delivering ballot boxes to some of Ireland's most remote locations.

The Constitution states there must be a TD for every 20,000 to 30,000 people in the population.

Following this general election, there will be 160 TDs serving 39 constituencies.

Main image: File photo. Credit: Sam Boal /RollingNews

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