Sunday 22 September 2019

Final Results

Repeal the Eighth Amendment?

Yes 66.40% 1,429,981

No 33.60% 723,632

  • Constituencies declared: 40/40

Referendum Hub

What do I do if I'm not on the register and why can't I wear my badge in the polling station? All your abortion referendum questions answered

Referendum Insight

Campaign posters in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
Campaign posters in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

With less than a week to go until the abortion referendum, a lot of people may have questions about the practicalities of voting, from polling cards to how votes are spoilt.

We spoke to a spokesman for the Referendum Commission to learn all you need to know before the historic vote on May 25:

Who can vote in the referendum?

Anyone who is an Irish citizen and at least 18 years of age can vote, so long as they are on the Register of Electors.

Irish citizens living abroad cannot vote with the exception of diplomats and their spouses, who are on duty abroad and can vote by post.

What do you do if you're not on the register?

People had until May 8 to register to vote or to change their voting address.

If you're not listed on then the best thing you can do is simply to ring your local authority and they should be able to check for certain.

When do polling cards arrive and do I need to bring it on the day?

Polling cards started arriving this week but you don't actually need them to vote, so long as you're on the electoral register you can vote.

You do need to bring some form of valid ID - for example, a passport, driving licence or public services card.

What hours will the polling stations be open between?

Details about your polling station will be on your polling card and they will be open between 7am and 10pm on May 25.

How do I know if the information I'm receiving is unbiased?

The Referendum Commission's leaflet is black and orange, so it is very distinctive and it should have arrived in every house by now.

That leaflet gives independent and neutral information about the referendum, it is also available online on

Has there been a surge in people registering to vote?

We know anecdotally that there was a significant surge before the May 8 deadline of people getting the registration forms and filling them in.

We can't say what number for certain though how many people registered yet, we just don't know at this point.

What shouldn't I bring to the polling station?

You're not supposed to wear anything that shows what side of the debate you're on, so no badges, jumpers, t-shirts, stickers, leaflets and so on.

It's the same as during an election, when you're not supposed to wear party badges.

Polling stations are supposed to be neutral places so if you went in wearing a campaign jumper then you might get told to cover it up.

How do people spoil their votes?

The simple thing is you're asked do you want to vote yes or no and you're asked to put an x in one of the boxes.

People might want to write something else on their ballot paper and they're perfectly entitled to do so but it means they have spoilt their vote and it won't be counted.

The most common one seems to be that people don't seem clear that they just have to oput an x in one box.

When will we know the results of the referendum?

We don't know for certain yet when the result will be announced but from past experience we tend to know the result of a referendum by early afternoon, if it's very close it may go on a little later.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News