The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) - which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide - is urging young people to make sure they have registered to vote before the deadline on Monday November 25th.
Registering to vote now means less red tape and bureaucracy than registering down the line, explains the youth council.
James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director said “With 71,873 registered voters in Kilkenny, we are urging young people to join them, and get on the register by November 25th.
“Census 2016 figures indicate that there are 689,996 young people aged 18 to 29 in Ireland,** which represents a potentially very large youth vote. We know from our work with young people that the vast majority want to vote but not all are aware they have to register. This is particularly an issue among the thousands of young people who turned 18 and became eligible to vote in recent months.”
How to make sure you are registered to vote
For those unsure whether they are registered or not, the NYCI advises that they check online at www.checktheregister.ie
“Anyone not currently registered can apply to be included in the annual revision of the register. All you have to do is fill out a form and send it to your local authority, county council or city council by Monday November 25th, in order to make sure they will be able to cast their ballot in future elections or referendums,” added Mr Doorley.
Anyone 18 on or before 15th of February 2020
“This does not just apply to those currently aged 18-29 years. Any person who turned 18 since the last election or referendum and is not registered, but also any young person who is currently 17, but will turn 18 by the 15th of February 2020, can apply for inclusion in the 2020/2021 register.
It is important to note that the 2020/2021 electoral register only applies from February 15th 2020, so if by chance there was an election or referendum before then, the 2019/2020 register would be used. NYCI also reminded applicants that it is their responsibility to make sure all the documentation arrives on time, so we recommend they deliver it by hand rather than post if you are submitting it close to the deadline.
“One of the privileges of living in a democracy is the right to have a say in who represents us at local level and who governs us at national level. We only get the chance to have our say every four or five years in general elections, so it is important that all citizens, especially young people who have recently gained that right, make sure they can exercise their franchise by being registered to vote in time, and we strongly recommend they do so on or before the upcoming deadline on Monday, November 25th next,” concluded Mr Doorley.