A dummy's guide to voting - all you need to know about going to polls in referendum
What is the proposal? The proposal being put forward to voters is to delete Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution (the Eighth Amendment), which states: "The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."
And to replace it with:
"Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy".
Who can vote?
Irish citizens, aged 18 and over, ordinarily resident in the State, who are included on the electoral register are entitled to vote at referendums.
Where do I vote?
Each voter is assigned to a polling station in their local area. The location of the polling station will be marked on the polling card that is posted to each voter in advance of the referendum.
Polling stations are often located in schools or community centres. They can change location though from referendum to referendum, so it is important to double check where your polling station is located.
If you did not receive a polling card, you can phone your local authority franchise office to check the information.
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm tomorrow.
I didn't receive a polling card but I know I am registered to vote, can I still vote?
Yes, absolutely. You should double check that you are on the register but you do not need a polling card to cast you vote.
Do I need identification at the polling station?
You should bring a valid form of identification with you to the polling station. Accepted forms of id include: driving licence, passport, public services card, a student identity card which contains a photograph, an employee identity card which contains a photograph. A longer list of accepted identification documents is available at www.referendum.ie
Who will be in the polling station when I get there?
Staffing arrangements at polling stations are managed by local authorities. There will be a presiding officer and a poll clerk at each station. There may also be personation agents present in the polling station. Personation agents may be nominated by members of the Oireachtas or by bodies approved by the Referendum Commission.
Are there any rules about polling stations and voting that I should know about?
Yes. Ireland is an old democracy with a long history of free and fair referendums and elections. To ensure that all voters can vote freely, no campaigning is allowed in, or near, polling stations.
You should respect this and not engage in any activity that could be understood as campaigning.
Remove any stickers, badges or clothes that contain campaign messages as a mark of respect to other voters.
The presiding officer in the polling station is the person who makes a decision on this if it arises.
We have a secret ballot in Ireland. Your vote is private. You should not take photos or record yourself inside the polling station.
You might be compromising the secrecy of your vote or the vote of another voter. Don't do it.
You should not write any messages or draw any images on your ballot. Again this is because of the requirement for a secret ballot, anything you add to the ballot might identify your vote and your vote may be deemed invalid.
How to make your mark
* Voters will be asked to vote Yes or No to the Thirty-Sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill tomorrow. The Referendum Commission states that the proposed change to the Constitution concerns the regulation of termination of pregnancy.
* The design of the ballot paper is set out in law and it will include the title of the bill proposing to amend the Constitution. You will be asked if you approve of the proposal to amend the Constitution.
* If you agree with the proposal, you should mark a clear X in the Yes box.
* If you disagree with the proposal, you should mark a clear X in the No box.
* When you have marked your ballot paper, you should fold it in two and place it in the ballot box.