Today my home country is out to vote in two referendums - one on whether to reduce the minimum age of presidential nominees from 35 to 21 and the other, for many more important, on whether or not to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples. Since I don't live in Ireland anymore, I don't have a vote, as voting rights depend on you being resident in Ireland. However, what I hadn't known before today is that if you've left the country less than 18 months ago and do intend to return to live there, you may still vote. There is no postal voting allowed in that case so if that applies to you and you want to exercise your vote, you need to turn up in person at your polling station.
You might have heard about the #hometovote hashtag today - it seems to be making its mark all over the world today. And some of the stories are truly uplifting. Above all, it is somehow making me feel a bit like my faith in humanity has been restored, seeing crowds of people making their way back by train, plane and automobile. It would perhaps be silly to assume that everyone is going home to vote yes but certainly the majority taking the time and trouble to get back to vote do seem to be supporting the yes vote. As do I.
There's just less than an hour of voting time left now and we should know the results by about lunchtime tomorrow. I sincerely hope that this change to the constitution goes through. Am feeling very emotional watching all of this happening from such a distance but isn't it wonderful that the internet allows me to be so close to everything that's happening. It gives me hope, too, that Ireland may be finally starting to really come out from under the yoke of the Catholic and indeed any Church. It's time for a separation of church and state once and for all.
And, just for laughs, check out the #PollingBoothPickUpLines that people started posting earlier. Some hilarious and some just as terrible as pick-up lines usually are!