Time to decide. Voting begins in Marriage Equality Referendum

Polling began at 7am.
Polling began at 7am.

Donegal will go the polls today to vote on marriage equality and whether to lower the age of eligibility for presidential candidates.

Polling stations opened across the country at 7am and will close at 10pm tonight.

Voters will be asked to vote yes or no on whether the following wording should be added to the constitution: ‘Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction to their sex.’

The proposed amendment is contained in the thirty fourth amendment to the constitution (Marriage Equality Bill) 2015.

They will also be asked to vote yes or no to the proposal to reduce the age at which candidates are eligible for election to the office of President from 35 to 21.

This amendment is contained in the thirty fifth amendment to the constitution (Age of Eligibility to the Office of President Bill) 2015.

There has been much debate, both nationally and internationally, over whether the historic referendum onmarriage equality will pass. Ireland is the first country in the world to decide on same-sex marriage by popular vote.

The polls suggest a yes vote will pass, but there has been an increase in betting on a ‘no’ result in recent weeks. Donegal has historically voted ‘no’ in referendums and bookies have named it as the county most likely to do so this time around too.

They also expect a no vote countrywide for the lowering of the age at which candidates are eligible to run for President.

While the majority of voters decide today, those who live on the 12 offshore islands cast their vote on Wednesday.

The ballot boxes open at 9am on Saturday morning. The count of Donegal North East will take place in Bonagee Community Centre, Letterkenny. The count for Donegal South West will take place in St John Bosco Centre, Donegal Town.

A total of 122,346 people are eligible to vote in Donegal. The number for Inishowen is 30,419. This does not include the number registered on to the Supplement which is 1,208. Of these, 715 are in the Donegal North East constituency.