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Ireland’s Elections Tomorrow: ‘Everything You Need to Know’

Dublin: As Ireland prepares for a major day of voting tomorrow, Friday, June 7, voters across the country will participate in European Parliament, local, and mayoral elections. Here’s what you need to know:

Mayoral Elections in Limerick
For the first time, voters in Limerick will directly elect their mayor. Only those registered in the Limerick city and county electoral areas can vote in this election. Fifteen candidates, including six women, are vying for the position, which comes with a five-year term and an annual salary of €154,134. Cork and Waterford held referendums on direct mayoral elections but did not pass them.

European Parliament Elections
Ireland will elect 14 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from three constituencies:
‘Midlands North-West’: Five MEPs, 27 candidates across 15 counties.
‘South’: Five MEPs, 23 candidates across ten counties.
‘Dublin’: Four MEPs, 23 candidates.

Voting for the European Parliament begins today in the Netherlands and continues tomorrow in Ireland. Other countries will vote on June 8 and 9. European vote counting in Ireland will start on June 9 to align with the conclusion of voting across Europe.

Local Elections
Ireland’s local elections will see over 2,100 candidates competing for 949 seats on county and city councils across 166 local electoral areas. Notably, 31% of the candidates are women, the highest proportion ever. Around 15 candidates of Indian origin are also in the fray.

Voting Process and Guidelines

Verify Eligibility
Ensure your name is on the electoral roll and that your address is up to date by visiting the [Voter Eligibility page] (https://www.checktheregister.ie/en-IE/search).

Identification
Bring your ‘Polling Information Card’ and identification documents to the polling station.

Voting Method
Voting in Ireland uses the Proportional Representation-Single Transferable Vote (PR-STV) system.
On the ballot paper, rank candidates in order of preference (1, 2, 3, etc.). Only use each number once.
Do not mark anything in the boxes of candidates you do not wish to vote for.

Ballot Validity
Ensure your ballot paper is stamped by the presiding officer.
Do not make extraneous marks on the ballot paper; these will invalidate your vote.
Ballot paper templates are available for visually impaired voters.

Counting and Results
Local Elections: Counting starts on Saturday morning, with results expected later that day.
European Parliament Elections: Counting is more complex and can take several days. In 2019, it took up to a week to complete the count in Ireland South.
Limerick Mayoral Election: Counting will commence after June 10, with results expected by Monday night.

Participation of Women and Invalid Votes
Women constitute 41% of outgoing MEPs and 31.4% of local election candidates.
In 2019, there were 108,488 invalid votes, often due to multiple first preferences or extraneous marks. The Electoral Commission urges voters to cast their votes correctly.

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