There are a number of different options in place for people who are unable to vote in person at a polling station. These are options are in place for various reasons including those related to disability, varying ability of reading and writing skills, or illness.
Voters who are unable to vote at a polling station can:
- Vote by post
- Vote in a hospital or nursing home (Special Voters list)
- Change the polling station where you vote
- Get assistance casting your vote
Vote by post
One of the key areas of changed, under the Electoral Reform Act, was the introduction of a rolling register. This means that people can update their details at any time of the year (except in the immediate run-up to an electoral event).
Another change brought about by the Electoral Reform Act 2022 was the eligibility for those with a mental illness or disability to apply for a postal vote.
To apply for a postal vote due to illness or disability, you will need to complete the PV2 Application Form.
If you think you are eligible for a postal vote, you will need to apply before 12 February 2024 to be registered in time for the referendums on Friday 8 March 2024.
Application deadlines vary depending on the type of electoral event:
- Dáil/General Election – Two days after the date of dissolution of the Dáil
- Dáil bye-election – Two days after the polling day order is made
- Presidential, European, local elections or a referendum – At least 22 days before polling day (not including Sundays, Good Friday or Public Holidays)
Request a change of polling station
There were a small number of inaccessible polling stations for the last electoral event (General Election 2020). If you are a wheelchair user and/or have difficulties accessing your polling station you can apply in writing to the Returning Officer of your constituency. Applications to vote at an alternative polling station must be received at least a week in advance of polling day.
If possible, you should suggest another polling station that is both accessible and convenient for you. If you are not familiar with other polling stations in your area, the Returning Officer will pick an alternative station for you. If you provide an explanation of why your current station is inaccessible to you it will help the Returning Officer to pick an alternative.
The Returning Officer will send you written authorisation to vote at another polling station. You should present this authorisation (along with the usual evidence of identity) when you go to vote. Once you have been assigned another polling station, you cannot vote at your local station.
Assistance casting your vote
People with a disability can avail of different types of assistance when casting their ballot paper in the polling station. This can be done by having the assistance of:
- A Companion
- Presiding Officer
- A ballot paper template
Below you can read more information on the types of assistance available when casting your vote below.