Here's the reason why you're seeing Bibles in your polling station
Ireland goes to the polls today..
European and local elections are taking place today across the country as well as referendum on divorce and the polls will remain open until 10pm tonight.
Some people have been seeing Bibles on the desks of poll clerks, and they're wondering what the deal is. There is, however, a very straightforward explanation.
If you forget to bring your ID to the polling station, the law provides for you to swear to God that you are who you say you are, that you're 18, that you haven't already voted and that you're on the register.
The Electoral Act, 1992, Section 111, 2.d reads: "the returning officer or presiding officer may, and if so required by a personation agent present in the polling station shall, administer to any person when he applies for a ballot paper, but not afterwards, an oath or (in the case of any person who objects to taking an oath on the ground that he has no religious belief or that the taking of an oath is contrary to his religious belief) an affirmation in the following form:
“I swear by Almighty God (or — do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm — as the case may be) that I am the same person as the person whose name appears as AB on the register of Dáil electors now in force for the constituency of..........and that I have not already voted at this election, and that I had attained the age of eighteen years on..........(date of coming into force of the register)”; and if such person refuses to take the oath or make the affirmation he shall not be permitted to vote."
And that's why there are Bibles in polling stations.