Thousands of young people not on electoral register

Thousands of young people not on electoral register

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As many as 3,400 young people in Clare may not be on electoral register with just days to deadline.

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 Thursday 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 “Census 2016 figures indicate that there are 702,796 young people aged 18 to 29 in Ireland,* which represents a potentially very large youth vote. Based on the most recent population data from the Central Statistics Office this would mean up to 1,800 young people in County Carlow would have turned 18 since February 2020 and may risk missing out on their right to vote unless they register by Thursday November 25th.

James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director explained “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 126,344* young people who turned 18 and became eligible to vote in the last 2 years since the 2020 General Election.

Check the register

Local Authorities are currently preparing the 2022/2023 electoral register. For those unsure whether they are registered or not, the NYCI advises that they check online at www.checktheregister.ie  “If young people are not on the electoral lists, we are strongly encouraging them to register now. To do this they need to fill out an RFA1 form (available at www.checktheregister.ie) and return it to their local city or county council by Thursday November 25th.

In effect the deadline is Wednesday, November 24rd as the form needs to be completed and posted back to the local authority to arrive by the deadline. If applicants miss the postal deadline, the only other option is to deliver the completed RFA1 form by hand,” continued Mr Doorley.

Anyone 18 on or before 15th of February 2022 

“This does not just apply to those currently aged 18-29 years. Any person who turned 18 since the election in February 2020 and is not registered, but also any young person who is currently 17, but will turn 18 by the 15th of February 2022, can apply for inclusion in the 2022/2023 register. NYCI also reminded applicants that it is their responsibility to make sure all the documentation arrives on time, so we recommend they post it by Wednesday November 24th 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 Thursday, November 25th next,” concluded Mr Doorley.

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