The Mental Health Commission provides voting rights information to residents and patients of mental health centres25 January 2024
The Mental Health Commission provides voting rights information to residents and patients of mental health centres
The Mental Health Commission is this week providing voting rights information to residents and patients of mental health centres across the country to ensure they understand how they can vote if they are unable to make it to an official polling station.
The MHC is providing leaflets and posters to each approved mental health centre and high support community residences over the next few days outlining a person’s voting rights.
Special arrangements exist to assist those electors with an illness or a disability to exercise their voting rights. One of these include special voting arrangements in hospitals, nursing homes or similar facilities for residents who cannot go to the polling station due to disability or illness.
“With two referendums taking place on March 8 this year, followed by local and European elections in June, it is especially important that we are providing this information to mental health service users as early as possible,” said the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission, John Farrelly.
“People, particularly those who may not have voted from a mental health centre previously, may not realise that their rights still exist, and they can cast their vote as they would if they were not in hospital.”
The legislation states that a person can be added to the special voters list if they are in a hospital and cannot go in person to vote at a polling station because of illness or disability. Once their name is on the special voters list, a special presiding officer and a Garda will come to the hospital or similar facility to help anyone who has indicated their wish to vote to do so.
‘Your Right to Vote’ leaflet can be accessed at the link Your Right to Vote leaflet
‘Your Right to vote’ poster can be accessed at the link Your Right to Vote Poster
For more general information, people can access the Government booklet ‘Information for Voters with Disabilities’. It can be downloaded at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/1b3dc-information-for-voters-with-disabilities/.