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Your Vote is Your Voice

Local council elections

Local elections are held in Ireland every five years to elect councillors as public representatives on local authorities. Local elections take place on Friday, 7 June 2024.

There are 31 Local Government Authorities in Ireland, which includes County Councils and City Councils. Each county and city council is divided into local electoral areas. Each local electoral area has a specified number of council seats to be filled in the election. In total, there are 166 electoral areas in Ireland and each of them elects a number of councillors. The number of councillors to be elected nationally is 949.

Local councillors make policy decisions at local level including in areas such as; planning, roads, traffic, housing, environmental services, recreation, community development; formal civic functions; a general representational and oversight role; and citizen/community engagement.

Preparing to vote in a local election

You will firstly need to check if you are entitled to vote in a local election. To vote in a local election, you must:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Live in the local electoral area
  • Be listed on the Register of Electors

To find out if your name is on the Electoral Register you can

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you can register to vote or update your details at

A polling information card will be sent to your address with details of your local polling station. You do not need to have your polling information card with you when you go to vote. However, you should bring some valid form of personal identification such as a passport, a driving licence, a public services card, or an employee or student identity card with a photograph. Other forms of identification are also acceptable, such as a credit card or a birth certificate, as long as you also have another document which confirms your address in the constituency. You might not be asked for proof of identity, but if you are asked for it, you need to show it.

Casting your vote in a local election

When you arrive at your polling station on Friday, 7 June 2024, you will be asked for your name and address. You may also be asked for a valid form of I.D. If polling station staff are satisfied with your identity, and your name is on the Register of Electors, they will stamp a ballot paper and give it to you. You can then take your ballot paper into a private voting booth.

The ballot paper will also show a list of names, in alphabetical order, party emblems and images of each candidate. There will be a box to the right of each candidates name. You mark your preference for each candidate in the box to the right.

You mark a ‘1’ in the box beside your first choice candidate and, if you wish, a ‘2’ in the box beside your second choice candidate, a ‘3’ in the box beside your third choice candidate, and so on.

  • By marking a ‘1’ beside a candidate you are saying ‘I wish to vote for this candidate.’
  • By marking a ‘2’ beside a candidate you are saying ‘If my first choice candidate does not need my vote because they have already been elected or excluded from the count, I want my vote to go to this second candidate.’
  • By marking a ‘3’ beside a candidate you are saying ‘If my first and second choice candidates do not need my vote, I want my vote to go to this third candidate’.

This system of voting gives you a wide variety of choice. You can choose many different candidates and mark them in order of your preference. You can mark your preferences for as many or as few candidates as you wish. This is your decision.

For each ballot paper make sure you start with ‘1’ then ‘2’ then ‘3’ and so on. To ensure your vote is counted make sure you mark your preferences as clearly as possible. If you do not want to fill out a preference for all candidates on the ballot paper, the box beside those you are not voting for must be left empty. Do not make any other mark on the ballot paper. If you do, your vote may be considered invalid/spoilt and not counted.

If you have a visual impairment, a Ballot Paper Template will be available at every polling station and you can use it to cast your vote.

When you have voted you should fold your ballot paper, return and place it into the ballot box at the same station.

The Returning Officer in each local authority is responsible for managing their local election. Each local authority pays the cost of running their own election.

Who can be elected as a local councillor?

Anyone over 18 who is a registered voter is eligible for election to Local Government except persons who are members of the Oireachtas, Members of the Gardaí and the Defence Forces and certain groups of public employees. Grounds for disqualification include failure to pay money due to a local authority and certain court convictions and prison sentences.

Multilingual voting information

View multilingual information about voting in elections in Ireland.