The Seanad abolition referendum is still failing to exercise the majority of voters with turnout expected to be below 40pc.
It is the fourth time that 3.1m voters have been asked to go to the polls to alter the Constitution since the Government came into office two-and-a-half years ago.
This time, voters are being asked to decide on whether to abolish the Seanad and whether to set up a new Court of Appeal to tackle the backlog of cases in the Supreme Court.
But count officials are predicting that the voter turnout could be below last year’s Children’s Rights referendum, which had a turnout of only 33pc. That referendum was held on a Saturday and polling hours were shortened.
But even though polling hours have been restored to the normal 7am-10pm routine for today’s referendums, there have been low turnout reports around the country. There was a turnout of just 6pc by lunchtime in Galway. By early afternoon, around 13.4pc of the electorate in Kildare had voted. It was around 14.2pc across Dublin city at 3.30pm. The latest figures for the turnout in Clare put it at less than 20pc, while turnout in Kerry is reported at 20pc.
But even with the expected increase in voting by people on their way home from work, the final figure is still expected to be low.
Turnout has improved marginally in the southwest and midwest but has still failed to reach 20pc in most areas.
Polling stations in South Kerry were busier than in its neighbouring North Kerry-West Limerick constituency.
In Killarney urban areas, turnout was estimated to have reached up to 21pc with rural stations lagging behind at 18pc.
At the western end of the constituency in the Dingle area turnout has been slower and has only reached around 18pc in the busier urban polling stations.
It’s a similar story in North Kerry where turnout in the Tralee urban area has not yet reached 20pc.
Rural polling stations were faring even worse with 15-16pc turnout by late afternoon.
In Listowel the trend was much the same with the urban area only marginally higher than the 16pc recorded in rural areas.
Voter turnout across Limerick city and county also remains very low, with turnout at some city polling stations still not reaching 10pc.
Rural polling stations are marginally busier most have failed to exceed 18pc.
A boost in expected in the coming hours as people finish work but it’s still not expected to be a post teatime rush.
Polling stations across Cork, Kilkenny and Waterford were reporting turnout stubbornly below 20pc.
Stations in Douglas, Wilton and Kinsale in Cork reported turnout of between 15pc and 18pc as late as 5pm.
At St Joseph’s NS in Fermoy, Co Cork turnout was estimated at 14pc at 4.30pm.
Some voting stations reported turnout single in single digit figures as late as 11am in Mayfield, Knocknaheeny and Blackpool on Cork’s northside.
Voting was marginally stronger in some rural parts of Cork though officials admitted the traditional evening rush to vote between 6pm and 8pm will be crucial.
Waterford mirrored Cork in terms of a slow turnout with the stations in Tramore, Dungarvan and Portlaw all indicating a turnout of below 20pc by 4.30pm.
Like Cork, voting was reported to be more brisk in rural areas than in parts of Waterford city.
In Kilkenny, voting rates started to increase from 4pm but turnout to 11am was reported at some stations as being amongst the lowest ever encountered.