Ministers launch campaign for public engagement following significant reform of the electoral registration process
Even those already registered to vote are encouraged to make sure that their details are current and correct
Campaign launches as significant improvements to the voter registration process deliver Programme for Government commitments
Work underway to establish national voter registration system
Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcom Noonan, and Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, have encouraged people to make sure they are correctly registered to vote. Their message reinforces the voter registration awareness campaign launched today encouraging everybody to make sure that their details are current and correct on checktheregister.ie.
Significant progress has been made on Programme for Government commitments in relation to the modernisation of the electoral registration process over the past twelve months, with improvements to the voter registration system meaning that people can now register to vote or update their details at any time using the checktheregister.ie system. Furthermore, PPSNs, Dates of Birth and Eircodes can also be added to the system, assisting local authorities in their work to improve the accuracy of the electoral register. 16- and 17-year-olds can now also pre-register to vote and will be automatically added to the electoral register upon turning 18. Work is also underway to establish a national voter registration system, with Dublin City Council recently appointed as the designated registration authority under the Electoral Acts to empower it to establish and manage, on behalf of all local authorities, a national electoral registration system.
Speaking about these improvements, Minister Noonan said that:
“The last few years have seen some of the most transformative changes to electoral registration in generations. Not long ago, almost everyone who wanted to register or update their information had to do so by sending a paper form to their local authority and we all recall the long queues at Garda stations at election time. The policy, legislative and technical changes we’ve made, including to checktheregister.ie, mean that you can apply to register or update your details online in just a few short minutes. I’m encouraging everyone today to ensure your local authority has the correct information to enable you to vote come polling day.”
Minister Noonan said that he was particularly pleased that local authorities can now take applications from everyone once they reach the age of 16. He said:
“This means we can reach out to 16- and 17-year-olds while they are still in the school system and get them to register to vote, and they are automatically transferred to the register once they turn 18.”
Minister Noonan also called on long-time voters to log on to checktheregister.ie, even if they haven’t moved or their circumstances haven’t changed:
“It’s really important that everyone confirms their details on the website. It’s not about whether you have voted before, it’s about letting your Local Authority know that your entry is current and correct, so that they can focus on identifying and, where necessary, removing entries that are out of date or incorrect. This helps to protect the integrity of the electoral register for all of us. You can confirm your details on checktheregister.ie by adding your PPSN, date of birth and Eircode, or if you’re in Dublin by going directly to Voter.ie.”
Minister O’Brien added:
“We all recognise the value of our democracy and the electoral register is a critical part of that. While local authorities are responsible for managing and maintaining the electoral register, we are all individually responsible for ensuring our details on the register are current and correct. This is a critical action each of us can take to protect and enhance our democracy.”
Looking to the future – and the challenges facing electoral systems the world over – Minister O’Brien highlighted the newly established role of the Electoral Commission in overseeing the electoral register and its processes and also pointed to the development of a new national electoral registration system:
“In September, I introduced regulations to appoint Dublin City Council as the designated registration authority under the Electoral Acts to empower it to establish and manage, on behalf of all local authorities, a national electoral registration system. That system, which will build on the existing Voter.ie platform, will bring together and further progress all of the work done to date, ensuring that the electoral registration process continues to serve this country and its electorate by bringing the highest standards of security and data protection to bear on this critical aspect of our democracy”.
The Ministers noted that the coming 24 months will be a relatively busy electoral period with Local and European Elections in June and both a General Election and Presidential Election due before the end of 2025.
“There’ll be a lot happening, everyone is busy, we have made it easy, so now’s the time to spend five minutes to check and either confirm or update your information,” said Minister Noonan. He went on to quote from the campaign with a clear message for everybody, “Your voice matters, your vote is important. Checktheregister.ie.”
Checktheregister.ie – the easy way to secure your say