A record number of people are eligible to vote in the general election to decide who will be taking seats in the 25th Dáil.

Almost 2.5 million people are registered to vote in the General Election, and disabled voters and those living on the islands have already cast their votes.

To eliminate people voting more than once, this is the first year voters may be asked to produce evidence of identification; a driving licence, passport, unemployment card or cheque book. Voters do not need a polling card to cast their vote, however they do however need to be on the register of electors and have the correct identification.

With 200,000 new voters on the register, Tim Sexton of the Franchise Section of the Department of the Environment explains the Proportional Representation (PR) system, whereby a voter indicates first and subsequent choices for candidates on the ballot paper.

The experts on Proportional Representation generally say that you get greater value for your vote if you mark in a series of preferences, rather than just plump for one particular candidate.

Less than 1% of votes are spoiled, but he warns of a common mistake voters make when using PR.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 February 1987. The reporter is Linda Sherlock.