Over 150,000 young people might not be registered to vote, warns National Youth Council of Ireland 3 years ago

Over 150,000 young people might not be registered to vote, warns National Youth Council of Ireland

"The vast majority want to vote but not all are aware they have to register."

The National Youth Council of Ireland has issued a reminder urging all young people to register to vote in the upcoming referendum.

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Ahead of the May 8 registration deadline, the Council voiced its concern by speculating that upwards of 151,000 young people may be at risk of missing out on their right to vote on 25 May.

Referencing a RedC poll conducted for NYCI in November 2017, in which it was found that 22% of persons aged 18 to 29 were not registered to vote, which was then compared with the latest population figures from the Central Statistics Office, the chief concern was among the 60,000 people who have turned 18 in the past 12 months.

In a statement, James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director said: "We know from our work with young people that the vast majority want to vote but not all are aware they have to register.

"This is particularly an issue among the more than 60,000 young people who turned 18 and became eligible to vote over in the last 12 months."

Doorley continued:

"Anyone not currently registered, needs to fill in the RFA2 form, have it signed and witnessed at a Garda Station, then return it by post or by hand to your local city or county council by the May 8th deadline, in order to make sure they will be able to cast their ballot on May 25th."

The figure - 151,000 - is speculative, and may have changed since the poll was carried out in late 2017, however, Doorley went on to stress: "It is clear that more remains to be done, so we are strongly encouraging young people to register to vote and ensure they have a say in the upcoming referendum."

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In the latest Eight Amendment referendum poll from 26 March, RedC found that over half of all adults (56%) intended to vote in favour of its repeal. 26% however said that they would vote to protect the amendment, while another 18% either refused to answer or remained undecided.

Removing undecided voters, the Yes side was favoured by a 69% majority, but in an analysis of the data, it was noted that those latest results revealed that support for the No campaign was gradually rising.

In January 2018, 60% of adults were in support of the Yes campaign, indicating a 4% decrease, while support for the No campaign had risen from 20% to 26%.

"It also reinforces the theory that undecided voters are more likely to vote No than those that have made up their mind, and that is where the real danger lies for the repeal campaign," said Red C founder, Richard Colwell.

"Were the majority of the undecided voters to eventually move to vote No, while some waverers on the Yes side also changed their mind, this referendum could be lost."

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For more information and to check if you are registered, visit checktheregister.ie.