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"X" Marks the Vote in Euro Elections

25th May 2009

The Local Returning Officer in the Highlands for the forthcoming European Parliamentary Elections, Alistair Dodds, wants voters to be aware of what they need to do to cast their vote on Thursday 4 June.

In the 2007 Scottish Parliament and local Government elections voters were asked to use three different voting methods on three ballot papers.

This time they only need to put one X on one ballot paper.

Mr Dodds said: "We want to make sure people know that they should use a single X when they vote in this election. The X should be placed in the empty box alongside the chosen party or candidate."

Everyone who is registered should have received a card with details of the polling place where they can cast their vote. The Highland election helpline number is 0845 603 5528.

The Council has also featured a polling station finder on the home page of its web site:www.highland.gov.uk. Visitors just need to enter their post code in the search facility and it will identify the polling station.

The Electoral Commission is backing the local returning officer's efforts to explain what they have to do when they get into the polling booth on Thursday 4 June.

Andy O'Neil, Head of the Commission in Scotland, said: "We are working hard to ensure that everyone is given clear information about how to cast a valid vote. If anyone is not clear about what they should do they should ask staff in the polling place."

People who have applied for postal votes are being asked to carefully read the instructions. This includes filling out the statement included with the postal voting pack. Once the ballot paper has been filled in it should be signed and the date of birth provided. It should then be sealed and sent back.

This is the first time that signatures and dates of birth have been required for postal votes in a Scotland-wide election to verify the identity of the voter.

Polling places will be open from 7am to 10 pm on Thursday 4 June.

Full details can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/yourcouncil/elections/europeanparliamentaryelections2009/

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