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Ireland’s Statutory, Independent Electoral Commission

23 February 2024 – An Coimisiún Toghcháin, Ireland’s independent electoral commission has today given notice that five political parties have registered with the Commission in order to be “Approved Bodies” for the 8 March Referendums.

The Referendum Returning Officer has been notified of these Approved Bodies as set out in the Electoral Reform Act (2022).

The Political Parties registered are:

  • Fine Gael
  • Ireland First
  • The Green Party/ Comhaontas Glas
  • Fianna Fáil
  • Sinn Féin

Approved bodies can appoint agents to:

  • Be present at the issuing of ballot papers to postal voters, the opening of postal voters’ ballot papers, and at the counting of votes.
  • Attend at each polling station (one person per polling station) to assist election officials in detecting the electoral offence of personation.

The formal notification has today been published in the official Irish State gazette, Iris Oifigiúil.

– ENDS-

For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, Communications and Public Engagement Manager,

An Coimisiún Toghcháin, The Electoral Commission,

Brian.dawson@electoralcommission.ie / 086 0749344

Editor’s Note:

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, and for the preparation and maintenance of the Register of Political Parties.
  • 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.
  • 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; and
  • making reports for the Minister in relation to local electoral boundaries.

An Coimisiún is also tasked in the Electoral Reform Act with several new electoral roles, including:

  • preparing research programmes and conducting research on electoral policy and procedure, and providing advice, as required, to the Minister and Government.
  • 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;
  • responsibility of the regulation of online paid-for political advertising, ensuring transparency in respect of online political advertisements which have been purchased to run during the period of an election or referendum campaign;
  • 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.
  • the preparation of ex-post reports on the administration of electoral events.

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