Presidential Election Order

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Government has today confirmed polling details for the Presidential election this autumn – meaning intending voters have just two days to register for a postal vote.

The Presidential Election Order, which has been officially issued by environment minister Phil Hogan this morning, set polling day as Thursday 27 October with voting taking place between 7am and 10pm.

Candidates’ nominations will be accepted from now until Wednesday 28 September. Only Irish citizens aged 18 years or older on polling day, and who are ordinarily resident within the State, are entitled to vote in the presidential election.

People who are eligible to vote, but who are not currently on the register of electors, still have time to apply for entry to the supplementary register of electors, which will be published before voting day.

Applications for inclusion on the supplementary register must be received by Monday 3 October. Forms to be added to the register can be downloaded from or obtained from any city and county council.

People hoping to register for a postal vote have only two days after the date the polling order is issued – i.e. today – to lodge a request for registering for a postal vote.

Voters can cast their ballots by post if they are a member of the diplomatic corps posted abroad (or their spouse), a Garda, a member of the Defence Forces, have an illness or disability, are a full-time student away from home, cannot vote because of your job, or are in prison.

Voters who require a postal vote because of illness or disability should seek form PV1 from their local county or city council, while any other prospective postal voter should seek form PV2. Examples of those forms can be found at Dublin City Council’s website.

A principal officer at the Department of the Environment, Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile, has been appointed as the Returning Officer. She will receive nominations at Custom House in Dublin 1.

The issue of the Presidential Election Order means county councils and members of the Oireachtas can now set about formally nominating candidates who have already been chosen by their parties, or nominated by councils, as legitimate candidates.

So far four candidates have been assured of the support necessary to run in the election: Gay Mitchell and Michael D Higgins are to be nominated by the members of their own Fine Gael and Labour parliamentary parties respectively, while Sean Gallagher and Mary Davis will each be nominated by four or more local councils.

The government intends to hold at least two referenda alongside the election, which takes place in 58 days’ time.

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