Voting – make use of your right

The introduction of water charges are getting people political. Young people in youth centres across Crosscare are talking about the latest protest and expressing their opinions about the rights and wrongs of the charges.But how many can turn that opinion into a vote? 2015 could be a bumper year for voting, with 3 referendums definitely on the agenda, and a possible 3 others being discussed.
In order to be able to vote you have to be on the Register of Electors. We tell you how to vote and consider whether there is any point in voting.

votebox

How to register

  • The deadline for registering for 2015 is 25th November 2014, so it is worth doing now. If you miss the date you can still register after the 15th February, up to 15 days before any vote.
  • Registering to vote is straightforward. If you are over 18 and not sure whether you are already registered to vote then you can visit www.checktheregister.ie to check.
  • If you are not registered, or want to correct details such as change of address you can get forms at this page. You can also get them in your local post office, library or Garda station.

Why bother?

  • If you find that certain things, like water charges, votes for 16 year olds, allowing same sex marriage or reduction in social welfare payments to young people are something you feel strongly about then you can have a say in voting in or out the politicians that you think best represents your viewpoint.
  • Every vote counts. Each election different constituencies have recounts as the votes are so close.
  • The turnout in recent years has been low, with less than half the people than can vote choosing to votvoting righte. The more people that vote, the more accurately the result should represent the view of the nation.
  • It forces politicians to listen to young people. Young people can be a powerful voice in decision making. The more that they vote, the more politicians listen.
  • When you move into adulthood, you are expected to pay tax, sit on juries, and generally contribute to society. Voting is a right and benefit not available to everyone, so why not take advantage of that right?

What is coming up for you to vote on?
In 2015 there are three referendums definitely happening.

  • Reducing the voting age to 16
  • Allowing same sex marriage
  • Reducing the age barrier for presidential candidates

Others are being considered but have not been confirmed. The next general election will take place no later than April 2016

So if you’ve never voted before, this is a good time to start. A number of referendums and an election due soon. Exercise your right and make your voice count

Images under Creative Commons: Thanks to FutUndBeidl and Michael Fleshman

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