Early footfall 'steady' at Offaly polling stations as country votes on abortion referendum
Early footfall at polling stations across Offaly has been described as 'steady' as the country goes to the polls to decide whether or not to repeal the 8th Amendment to the Constitution.
There has been an early stream of voters making their way to the polling stations since they opened at 7am with one worker at an Edenderry station decribing footfall as 'steady' in the early hours of the pivotal vote.
RTE's Midlands correspondent, Ciaran Mullooly, has reported that turnout in Offaly stations, both urban and rural, has already hit 10% with the lunchtime and evening rush still to come.
Turnout across the country has been developing at a similar rate and given the divisive nature of the debate on both sides, it is expected to draw a turnout similar or even greater than the 2015 marriage referendum.
The country is being asked whether or not to repeal the 8th Amendment which, interpreted by the Supreme Court, means that it is lawful for a pregnancy to be terminated only where the pregnancy poses a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother. This includes a risk of suicide.
A 'Yes' vote to remove the 8th Amendment, giving equal rights to the mother and unborn, would pave the way for the Oireachtas to legislate for termination of pregnancy. A 'No' vote would leave the Constitution and the 8th Amendment unchanged.
Offaly voters are reminded that polling stations remain open until 10pm.
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