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Surge in Donegal voter registration ahead of referendum

Staff Reporter

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Surge in Donegal voter registration ahead of referendum

Donegal has seen a huge surge in voter registration ahead of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment on Friday.

Donegal’s supplementary register has seen 2,885 names added, an increase of 128 per cent on the marriage referendum in 2015.  

In 2015 1,264 names were added to the supplementary register in Donegal.

Returns from 14 of the 31 county and city councils show Donegal has seen the second biggest increase since 2015, after only Leitrim which has seen a 213 per cent surge.

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) - which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide - has welcomed what it described as the unprecedented surge of voter registration ahead of the referendum on May 25th.

The returns received by NYCI if replicated in all 31 city and county councils, would indicate that up to 125,000 people were added to the supplementary electoral register between February and the recent May 8th deadline.  

In May 2015, 65,911 voters were added to the supplementary register in advance of the marriage equality referendum, following an intensive voter registration campaign.


90% increase

To date, the returns from 14 of the 31 councils indicate that 56,961 voters have been added to the supplementary register, with numbers on average up over 90% on those recorded in 2015, explained James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director: “For example the numbers registering in Meath (123%), Kerry, (112%), South Dublin (103%) and Westmeath (103%) are up over 100% on 2015.

"Other counties such as Galway, (97%)  Tipperary, (92%), Kilkenny (86%) are also recording a much increased level of registration. The lowest percentage increases to date are from Dublin and Cork Cities with an increase of 38% and 37% respectively but this still represents in Dublin City alone an increase of over 5,400 voters compared to those included in the supplementary register in 2015. (19,805 in 2018 compared to 14,362 in 2015).

"Leitrim stands out as a result of an 213% increase in voters included in the supplementary register with 670 additional voters in 2018 compared to 214 in 2015."

Not all young voters

“It is important to note that not all those added to this latest supplement to the register are young voters,” added Mr Doorley. 

“Some undoubtedly are not in the 18 to 29 age bracket, or are electors changing the location of their vote. However, the indications we received from a number of county councils suggest that a high percentage of those registered are new or young voters.”