Elections are in the air for 2019.  If you’re not on the electoral register – now is the time to do it. Friday 23rd November is the deadline for registering to vote.  This means that when elections come around – you’ll be entitled to vote.  If you’re not on the register – you can’t vote.  Everyone 18 years (by February 2019) has the right to vote.

It’s a simple process –

  • get a form

  • fill it in and

  • send it to your local authority

You can get the form:

  • below (click on image)

  • at your local library

  • post office or

  • garda station

  • Click on the image for pdf of form. Find your local authority address here.

Travellers and voting

Unfortunately in Ireland today not many of the 30,000 Travellers in the Republic of Ireland are registered to vote.

Travellers have the right to vote and need to use it.  By Travellers voting and standing for election they are taking a stand against racist politicians.  The more Travellers who register to vote – the bigger the political power base Travellers have.  Overview of  Ireland’s political system here.

Nan’s words – Daniel going to into the lion’s den

Nan Joyce, who sadly died earlier this year,  went up for election in 1982.  In her book ‘Traveller – an autobiography’ she talks about it:

“I felt like Daniel going into the lion’s den, that I was going to be eaten up! I’m sure some people were shocked at a Traveller going up for election and there was some hostility but we got loads of offers of help from settled people in Tallaght, students and women’s group.

Nan Joyce speaking to journalists during her election campaign 1982. Photo by Derek Speirs.

“There were thousands of letter to be sent out and leaflets and posters but the committee worked very hard and I went around speaking and to meetings.

“The election gave me a great chance to say all the things that had been boiling up inside me for years and years – nothing like it had ever happened before for the Travellers.

“I got 580 votes and I thought I was great.  I couldn’t promise people anything for their vote so by voting for me they got nothing.  But they were voting for human rights and justice and this was a great start. “

See Travellers who have run for elections here.

Voting is your Right

Janelle Monae is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and model.  Here she talks about the history of voting in the USA

 

  • Daniel O’ Connell campaigned for Irish Catholics to get the vote when Ireland was under British rule.  This eventually happened in 1829 and Daniel O’ Connell was elected to the British House of Parliament.

  • Up until 1969 all those who didn’t own property or pay rates in Northern Ireland were excluded from voting in local elections.  The Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland demanded ‘one person, one vote’.

  • Black Americans did not get the right to vote until 1965.  In 2009 Barak Obama was elected the first Black President of the USA.

  • In 1918 Irish women got the right to vote – but only if they were over 30 years of age, had property rights and a university education.  It wasn’t until the Irish Constitution came about in 1922 that Irish women over 21 years could vote.