Here's what you need to know about voting in Friday's abortion referendum 1 year ago

Here's what you need to know about voting in Friday's abortion referendum

We've got you covered.

The Referendum Commission has called for all voters to make sure that they are fully informed and prepared ahead of Friday's referendum on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

With more than 3.2 million people registered, there will be more than a few people among that number who will be casting their very first vote. At the same time, it's been three years since many others decided on the outcome of the marriage equality referendum, and in that time you may be a little rusty or confused when it comes to preparation.

If you're scratching your head, or feeling unsure about some of the finer details, then here's exactly what you need to know.

On Friday 25 May, you will be asked to vote on a proposal to change the Irish Constitution's regulation of termination of pregnancy.

Your vote will determine whether Article 40.3.3 is deleted from the Constitution of Ireland, which states the following:

"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. This subsection shall not limit freedom to travel between the State and another state. This subsection shall not limit freedom to obtain or make available, in the State, subject to such conditions as may be laid down by law, information relating to services lawfully available in another state."

The proposed new Article 40.3.3 states:

"Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy."

Any Irish citizen who is ordinarily a resident in the State and whose name is on the electoral register will be entitled to vote on this decision.

Voters should have received their polling cards in the post prior to Friday. These will inform voters as to which polling station they are to cast their ballot.

It is important also to note that anyone who is on the electoral register is entitled to vote, even if they have not yet received a polling card. You can check this at

You will not be required to have your polling card on you when you reach the polling station. However, you should bring some form of valid identification, such as:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Public services card
  • Employee identity card with a photograph
  • Student identity card with a photograph
  • Travel document with your name and photograph
  • Bank, savings or credit union book that contains your address in the constituency

Should you be unable to produce any of the above, it is also acceptable to show a cheque book, a cheque card, credit card, birth certificate or marriage certificate as long as you have another document which confirms your address in the constituency.

Voters may not be asked to produce any identification, but if asked, they are required to show it.

Once you are in the polling booth, remember that although the referendum concerns the Constitution's Eighth Amendment, you are being asked to approve the Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018.

To vote, you must mark an 'X' in either the 'Yes' or 'No' box. Only mark one box, or your vote will not be counted. Do not mark any other part of the ballot paper.

The polling stations will be open on Friday 25 May from 7am to 10pm.

For more information, visit the Referendum Commission website here.