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Three Ways Voters Can Cast Their Vote At The Scottish Parliament Election In May

24th March 2021

On Thursday 6 May residents in the Highlands will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them in the Scottish Parliament.

Voters have a range of options for casting their ballot - in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 06 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 27 April.

For those who choose to vote in person, polling places will be following all public health guidelines. Voters are encouraged to keep themselves and others safe by:

Wearing a face covering

Bringing their own pen or pencil

Cleaning their hands when entering and leaving the polling station

Keeping a safe distance

Voters should not attend the polling station if they have symptoms of Covid-19, or if they have been asked to self-isolate. There will be provisions in place to apply for an emergency proxy vote if required due to health circumstances.

Chief Executive of The Highland Council and the Constituency and Regional Returning Officer, Donna Manson said: "It's important to make sure your voice is heard at the elections in May, and we are putting measures in place to help you cast your vote safely. You can vote either vote at a polling station, by post or by proxy.

You can find more information about how to apply to vote by post or proxy on the Council's website at www.highland.gov.uk/sp2021election (external link)

However you choose to vote, you must be registered by 19 April to have your say at the election – the easiest way to register is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote (external link).

Donna added: “Poll cards are currently getting sent out to Highland voters by Royal Mail. People can opt to apply for a postal vote even after receiving their poll cards, as long as they do this before the deadline of Thursday 6 April.

“Due to Covid-19 we expect more people will be keen to have the convenience of using a postal vote in this election so my advice is to apply now and not wait for the deadline."

Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland said: “The choice on how to vote at the elections is yours – you can have your say in person, by post or by proxy. However you choose to cast your vote in May, you will be able to do so safely.

“If you’re voting in person, help keep yourself and others safe by following the safety measures that will be in place at the polling place.

“If you decide to vote by posts sending your application now will make sure it is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly once the candidates for the election are confirmed. It’s easy to apply and you can find out how by visiting the Electoral Commission website.”

The Electoral Commission have produced a short video to advise voters on what to expect when visiting their polling station (external link)-

The deadline to register to vote for the May 2021 elections is midnight on Monday 19 April.

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/voter (external link). This page will continue to be updated ahead of the polls.