62,000 young people became eligible to vote in last 12 months
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 November 25.
Registering to vote now means less red tape and bureaucracy than registering down the line, explains the NYCI.
“Census 2016 figures indicate that there are 696,543 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 62,813 young people who turned 18 and became eligible to vote in the last 12 months," says NYCI deputy director James Doorley.
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 Wednesday, November 25 in order to make sure they will be able to cast their ballot in future elections or referendums,” Mr Doorley says.
Anyone 18 on or before February 15, 2021
“This does not just apply to those currently aged 18-29 years. Any person who turned 18 since the election last February and is not registered, but also any young person who is currently 17 but will turn 18 by February 15, 2021 can apply for inclusion in the 2021/2022 register," he says.
The NYCI also reminded applicants that it is their responsibility to make sure all the documentation arrives on time, so it is recommend they post it by Tuesday next at the latest.
“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 Wednesday, November 25 next,” Mr Doorley adds.