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Irish expats are traveling home in droves to vote for same-sex marriage

Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

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.

Many of the voters are coming back from the United Kingdom:

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.

Unlike other places, Ireland doesn't let expats vote absentee — they had to fly home to cast a ballot.

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.)

This man found out today that he was eligible to vote and live-tweeted his race back from Edinburgh. He made it:

This man, who came back from Australia, helped spark a social media movement to bring expatriates home to cast their vote:

Results will be made public Saturday.