I am not registered to vote as I was too young to apply to be registered prior to now. However, I turn 18 shortly and I am hoping to vote for the first time in the upcoming General Election. Also, I believe that marketing companies use the Register of Electors for direct marketing purposes. Is this true and is there anything I can do to protect my personal information from marketing companies?
Being registered to vote allows you to participate in deciding who represents you at local, national and European government level. In order to vote you must apply to be included on the Register of Electors. You may do so provided you are at least 18 years old on the day the register comes into force (February 15 ) and have been ordinarily resident in the State on September 1 in the year preceding the coming into force of the register.
A new draft register is compiled each year and is published on November 1. If your name is not on the Register of Electors in February, you may apply to be included in a supplement to the register. You may apply to be included in the supplement to the Register of Electors on or after the day you reach 18 years of age.
You can make this application at any time, but if you wish to be included in the supplement used at an election your application must be received by your local authority at least 15 days before polling day. Local authorities publish two versions of the Register of Electors, the full register and the edited register. The full register lists everyone who is entitled to vote. Once a full register has been published it can only be used for an electoral or other statutory purpose.
The edited register contains the names and addresses of those voters who have indicated that their details can be used for other purposes. In order to register to vote one must complete an RFA voter registration form. You may choose to have your details excluded from the edited register by ticking the 'opt out' box on this form.
If you are happy for commercial companies and other organisations to contact you for direct marketing purposes, then you may leave the 'opt out' box blank. It is an offence for an organisation/commercial body to contact someone from the full electoral register for direct marketing purposes.
Byrne Carolan Cunningham
Tel. Athlone: 090 6478433
Moate: 090 6482090 [email protected]