For the Dáil election, any Irish or British citizen with residence in Ireland over the age of 18 can vote in the general election. All voters must be registered on the voting register of the local authority. Candidates for the elections must be Irish Citizens and over the age of 21. They have to file their nomination by the 7th day after the dissolution of the Dáil and comply with the guidelines of the Standards in Public Office Commission.
Eligible citizens can check whether they are on the (right) register at checktheregister.ie and may be added to the register up until 15 days before polling day using the form RFA2 (pdf). In order to change your address (e.g. for students with two residences), use the form RFA3 (pdf).
The voting system for the Dáil elections is proportional representation with a single transferable vote in multi-seat constituencies from 3 to 5 seats per constituency.
On the Election Day, voters mark their first, second, third etc. preference next to the candidates' names on the ballot. Votes are counted by grouping the ballots by the first choice. Any candidate that exceeds the quota, calculated as the number of votes cast divided by the number of seats in that constituency, is automatically elected. Exceeding votes are divided upon the remaining candidates proportionally. If this leaves more candidates than remaining seats, the candidate with the least votes at that stage is eliminated and the ballots regrouped to the remaining candidates according to the next choice in order on the ballot.
Candidates qualify for recoupment of their election expenses if the number of votes they receive at the count exceeds one-quarter of the quota.
A voter's guide to the election system