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Voting at presidential elections by citizens resident outside the State

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The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD, has published an Options Paper on voting at presidential elections by citizens resident outside the State.  This follows on from the announcement by the Taoiseach, on 12 March 2017, of the Government decision to hold a referendum to amend the Constitution to give the right to vote at presidential elections to Irish citizens resident outside the State, including in Northern Ireland.

Minister Coveney has advocated for many years that citizens outside the State should have the right to vote and is committed to taking the necessary steps towards giving effect to this at presidential elections.

The Government's decision is in line with the recommendations of the Convention on the Constitution, in their Fifth Report.  Minister Coveney, in cooperation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD and the Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh TD, has completed an analysis of the policy, legal and practical issues arising in extending the franchise at presidential elections to citizens resident outside the State.

In order to inform public discourse, the Government has published the Options Paper which sets out the range of options available to give effect to the recommendation of the Convention on the Constitution.  This paper will also be one of the topics for discussion at the Global Irish Civic Forum which will take place in Dublin in May 2017.  The Options Paper was prepared by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Queries about this paper should be addressed to:

Franchise Section, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Custom House, Dublin 1, D01 W6X0


or to

Irish Abroad Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Iveagh House, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 VY53