One of the ballot boxes in the Model School at O'Connell Avenue PICTURE: ADRIAN BUTLER
TURNOUT is relatively low at polling stations across Limerick as voting in the presidential election and constitutional referendum continues.
Around 300 polling booths across the city and county opened at 7am and will remain open until 10pm with the votes being counted on Saturday at the Limerick Racecourse.
Unofficial figures from polling stations, suggested that as of this lunchtime, turnout is much less than the last vote, the referendum to repeal the eighth amendment back in May.
John F Kennedy National School in the Ennis Road, which is considered a 'bellweather’ for the Limerick City constituency reported turnout of between nine per cent and 14% across its seven boxes.
It appears there is a disconnect among some young voters to this election, with one officer at the northside school telling the Leader that during May’s referendum, there were far more youngsters coming in early to vote.
Elsewhere, Monaleen National School, often a trendsetter for eastern suburbs of the city like Castletroy, was reporting turnout of just nine per cent this lunchtime.
Milford National School had just 10% turnout, while the former Scoil Carmel in O’Connell Avenue was enjoying comparatively high numbers of 15%.
In County Limerick, Caherline National School reported a 13% turnout, while just eight per cent of those registered to vote had attended Caherconlish NS by this lunchtime.
More turnouts across #Limerick thanks to @AlanMorrissey: Caherline NS 13%, Milford NS 10%, Scoil Carmel 15%, Monaleen 9%, Gaelscoil Castletroy 7.6% Caherconlish 8% Scoil Ide Corbally 9.5%, Herbertstown 12% and Hospital 10% #Aras18 #BlasphemyRef #LimerickDecides @Limerick_Leader— Nick Rabbitts (@Nick468official) October 26, 2018
The six candidates in the presidential election are Peter Casey, Gavin Duffy, Joan Freeman, Sean Gallagher, the incumbent Michael D Higgins and Liadh Ni Riada.
The ballot papers for the blasphemy referendum are green in colour with voters being asked clearly indicate their preference by marking the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ box.
In terms of this, voters are being asked whether to remove or retain Article 40.6 of the Constitution which makes blasphemy an offence.
There is no obligation on people to cast votes in both the presidential election and referendum and they are free to vote in just one if they wish.
More than 140,000 people are eligible to vote across Limerick.
Ballot papers will be sorted by count staff from 9am tomorrow with the counting of the votes expected to get underway around lunchtime.
While trends may become clear early in the day, the result of the first count is not expected until the early evening.
- Stay with the Limerick Leader for updates through today and during the count from the Limerick Racecourse on Saturday