Ireland is voting Friday on legalizing same-sex marriage. Among the voters are about 60,000 Irish expatriates who left the country within the past 18 months and are coming back, most of them to vote yes. They're tweeting their journeys back with #hometovote.
The hashtag has been tweeted more than 48,000 times.
The #hometovote is like when you're watching The Hobbit and an army of elves you'd forgotten from earlier in the film arrive over a hill.— Colm O'Regan (@colmoregan) May 21, 2015
Many of the voters are coming back from the United Kingdom:
This is the scene on the 9:10 London to Holyhead train as Irish abroad return #hometovote #marref pic.twitter.com/spVfkb5sIT— Naomi O'Leary (@NaomiOhReally) May 22, 2015
Other voters are coming from even farther away. Ireland could become the 20th country to legalize same-sex marriage and the first to do it with a national referendum.
Came #hometovote, my Dad told me to shave my beard and my Mam needs 2 months of tech advice. This better be a Yes.— Paul McDonnell (@Paul_Austin) May 21, 2015
Unlike other places, Ireland doesn't let expats vote absentee — they had to fly home to cast a ballot.
Heatmap of #hometovote by @ivorcrotty is stunning. An outrage we drove so many away, amazing that so many returned pic.twitter.com/PCHMwzs8SD— David Cochrane (@davidcochrane) May 22, 2015
Took a few days to get #hometovote from Nepal but getting job done with the family #VoteYes #MarRef #MakeGraTheLaw pic.twitter.com/v9Jhc4lXNL— David M (@davidmrsn) May 22, 2015
Polls suggest that same-sex marriage will win in a landslide, with around 70 percent of likely voters saying they'd vote yes. (Polls in Ireland have been wrong before, though.)
I'm coming back to @ireland to vote in #MarRef. I'm coming back to help make history. I'm coming back for the future. pic.twitter.com/myq5tjAZ9e— Ian McCafferty (@CommunalSpoon) May 21, 2015
This man found out today that he was eligible to vote and live-tweeted his race back from Edinburgh. He made it:
Just discovered I AM on the register. Fuck this, leaving work and flying #hometovote. #MarRef #YesEquality— kDamo (@kDamo) May 22, 2015
Flight won't get into Dublin until after 8pm at this stage. Gonna be tight getting to polling station but equality will find a way. #MarRef— kDamo (@kDamo) May 22, 2015
X #MarRef #YesEquality #hometovote #StMartins #Tallaght pic.twitter.com/V4RAtT2lZb— kDamo (@kDamo) May 22, 2015
This man, who came back from Australia, helped spark a social media movement to bring expatriates home to cast their vote:
#MarRef inspo @MarkGovern boarding his flight back from Australia to #VoteYes. Safe travelling, Mark! Unbelievable! pic.twitter.com/YBtMa5Y72I— Ireland \ Síomha (@ireland) May 20, 2015
My bro @diylan brought these balloons all the way from London! #hometovote #voteyes #marref pic.twitter.com/1zi0Dmv7yP— Una Mullally (@UnaMullally) May 22, 2015
Results will be made public Saturday.
Just a few hopeful Irish people on the ferry coming #hometovote pic.twitter.com/4mhSIjI7MD— Sarah Morrison (@S_R_Morrison) May 22, 2015
#marref #hometovote pic.twitter.com/PgYwg9iBMA— Annie West (@anniewestdotcom) May 22, 2015