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Your Vote is Your Voice

Referendums explained

In Ireland, there are two kinds of referendum that can take place – a constitutional referendum and an ordinary referendum.

The Constitution (Bunreacht na hÉireann) is the fundamental legal document that sets out how Ireland should be governed.

The Constitution can only be amended if the proposed change has been approved by the people of Ireland in a constitutional referendum. This gives the people of Ireland the chance to decide whether or not the wording of the Constitution will change.

You can read about the previous referendums that have taken place in Ireland.

As Ireland’s independent electoral commission, it is our responsibility to prepare impartial and unbiased information about the referendum proposals and make that information available to the public.

We prepare impartial statements containing a general explanation of the subject matter of the proposal for the referendum concerned and distribute those statements through an information booklet, television ads, radio, newspapers, social media and other forms of media to bring them to the attention of the public. We are committed to ensuring that all information we provide is accessible for those with a disability.