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Voting safely at the Scottish Parliament election

By David G Scott

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Arrangements are being made for Caithness residents to vote safely for the Scottish Parliament election polls on May 6.

There are a number of ways to have your say in the election – you can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, which is known as a proxy vote.

Bill Gillies, electoral registration officer for the region said: “The Scottish Parliament makes decisions that affect every aspect of our daily lives so it is important to make your voice heard in this election and have a say on who represents you.

Have your say in May's election.Picture: Eric Cormack.
Have your say in May's election.Picture: Eric Cormack.

“Arrangements are being put in place by the returning officer to help you stay safe at the polling station; you can expect many of the measures you’ve become used to in shops and banks over recent months, such as hand sanitiser, floor markings and face masks. But you also have the option to apply to vote by post or by proxy.”

Andy O’Neill, head of Electoral Commission Scotland, said: “The choice on how to vote at next May’s elections is yours – you can have your say in person, by post or by proxy.

“If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly. It’s easy to apply and you can find out how by visiting the Electoral Commission website.

“You need to be registered to vote in order to have a say at the election – the easiest way is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. And remember, it doesn’t matter where you were born, if you are aged 16 and over and are resident in Scotland you are now eligible to register and vote in Scottish Parliament elections.”

To vote in a Scottish Parliament election you must be registered to vote in Scotland and aged 16 years or over on the day of the poll. You must also be:

  • British or Irish citizen
  • Commonwealth citizen, who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK
  • citizen of another European Union country, or
  • qualifying foreign citizen, who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need such permission.

Residents can visit the FAQ page on the website at www.saa.gov.uk/h-wi-vjb to find out more about the elections on May 6. The page will be updated with new information as it becomes available. Any residents who have questions can also contact the electoral registration team on 0800 393 783 or by email ero@highland.gov.uk

For further information on elections in their area, how to register to vote, or how to apply to vote by post or by proxy, voters can visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter – this page will continue to be updated ahead of the polls.

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