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Votes being counted

Your Vote is Your Voice

Don’t Spoil Your Day’ Voter Education Drive Launched in Empty Croke Park

27 May 2024 –  An Coimisiún Toghcháin, Ireland’s independent electoral commission says there should be no repeat this June of the 108,488 spoilt and ineligible votes in the last European and local elections, and has kicked off a voter education drive to help voters avoid unintentionally spoiling their votes on 7 June.

This number of votes is the equivalent of the full capacity of Croke Park stadium with another third of the stadium again, or put in another way the equivalent of the combined population of Drogheda, Dundalk and Sligo. The vast majority of these votes were not intentionally spoilt (see tables below). The people who cast them have no idea that their votes did not count.

Of the spoilt votes in the 2019 local and European elections, evidence shows that 34,618 such votes were not counted in the local elections and 73,870 were uncounted in the European elections held on the same day.

Ireland’s independent electoral commission is determined to lower this number on 7 June when European, local and Limerick mayoral elections take place. To help achieve this goal, it has kicked off its “Don’t Spoil Your Day” Voter Education Drive.

A new 3-minute and 1-minute video showing what you need to vote and exactly how to properly fill in your ballot. The video takes people through the voting process from entering the polling station to successfully completing your vote.

The Electoral Commission is sharing the video and associated materials with Local Authorities, community groups and organisations across the country to support voters ahead of polling day.

Ms Justice Marie Baker, Chair of the An Coimisiún Toghcháin, stated:

“It is such a disappointment to see the scale of spoilt and invalid votes – 108,000 is a huge number because the nature of our electoral system means that for many candidates, these votes could be the difference between winning and losing a seat.

“On June 7 there will be many people who have not voted before or have not voted in the 4 years since the last General Election. To some, it may seem a straight forward process, but the evidence is that many people who go to the polling station don’t fill in their ballots correctly. Their voice remains unheard.

“The voters whose votes were not counted would fill every seat in Croke Park and there’d still be many more standing outside.

“In Dublin City alone, over 3 per cent of votes cast were deemed invalid. This uncounted mountain of ballots is shocking when we know that in Ireland’s elections, many seats are won by a mere handful of votes.

“Don’t spoil your day on 7 June, get out and vote and make sure that your vote counts by completing your ballot properly. Your vote is your voice”.

Among its functions, An Coimisiún Toghcháin, Ireland’s independent electoral commission, is tasked with building awareness of Ireland’s elections and increasing the numbers of people voting through education and information campaigns.


For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, Communications and Public Engagement Manager, 

An Coimisiún Toghcháin, The Electoral Commission,

086 0749344 

Editor’s Note:

‘How to Vote’ Video

A short video showing exactly how to obtain and complete your ballot paper is available on our website at

Spoilt vote analysis

By Local Authority (2019 local elections)

By European Parliament constituency (2019 European Parliament elections)

An Coimisiún Toghcháin, The Electoral Commission

An Coimisiún Toghcháin is a statutory, independent body, established on 9 February 2023 with responsibility for a broad range of electoral functions set out in the Electoral Reform Act 2022. An Coimisiún is central to Ireland’s electoral system, carrying out a range of existing electoral functions, including:

  • responsibility for the registration of political parties;
  • promoting public awareness of, and working to increase public participation in the State’s electoral and democratic processes through education and information programmes;
  • overseeing the modernised Electoral Register, making recommendations and setting standards in relation to its maintenance and updating;
  • the regulation of online paid-for political advertising, ensuring transparency in respect of online political advertisements during the period of an election or referendum campaign; (Legislation not yet commenced); and
  • responsibility for the investigation and monitoring of online disinformation, online misinformation and manipulative or inauthentic behaviour online during election campaign periods, as well as functions to prevent manipulative or inauthentic behaviours online. (Legislation not yet commenced).

An Coimisiún is also tasked with several new electoral roles, including:

  • making reports for the Minister in relation to local electoral boundaries;
  • preparing research programmes and conducting research on electoral policy and procedure, and providing advice, as required, to the Minister and Government;
  • the preparation of ex-post reports on the administration of electoral events;
  • the decision-making, oversight, secretariat and supporting services associated with explaining the subject matter of referendum proposals, the promotion of public awareness of referendums and encouragement of the electorate to vote at referendum polls; and
  • the conducting of reviews and making reports in relation to the constituencies for the election of members to the Dáil and the election of members to the European Parliament.

It is anticipated that the initial set of functions assigned to An Coimisiún will be expanded upon as it builds capacity and expertise.