Five things you need to know about the May local elections to Orkney Islands Council
1. As the Stromness and South Isles ward was uncontested, no vote will take place in this ward. The three candidates who stood for election – Rob Crichton, James Stockan and Magnus Thomson – will be declared as Councillors on 4 May.
2. For the first time in the local council elections, 16 and 17 year olds will have the right to vote. All those who are registered to vote will have received their polling card by now. If you have not received your polling card you should check with the local Electoral Registration Office that you are registered.
3. If you have received your polling card at your current address then you are registered to vote. If you haven’t received your polling card or have moved house very recently then you might need to check that you are registered. The deadline for registering to vote is April 17.
If you want to apply for a postal vote – and this option is available to all voters – then you need to have done this, including filling in an application form, by 17:00 on 18 April (proxy vote applications – where someone votes on your behalf – also need to meet this deadline). Postal vote packs will be sent out from 13 April. You can contact the Electoral Registration Office on 01856876222.
4. The full list of the candidates standing in each ward is available from the Notice of Poll.
5. The local Council elections use the Single Transferable Voting system. This sees voters rank their candidates in order of preference i.e. 1 for your preferred candidate, 2 for your next preference, 3 for the next and so on. Some people chose to number all the candidates; some choose just three or even just one.
This is fine, you can number as many or as few as you like but it important that you use numbers only on your ballot form – not crosses or ticks. Always read the instructions for filling in the ballot paper carefully, even if you have voted before. If you make a mistake then you can ask the polling staff to give you another ballot paper.