Three ways voters can cast their vote at the Scottish Parliament elections in May

Date: 
Monday, 29 March, 2021


voting graphicOn Thursday 6 May residents in East Dunbartonshire 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 Tuesday 6 April, and the deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on Tuesday 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.

Gerry Cornes, Returning Officer for East Dunbartonshire, 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 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 Scottish Parliament Election page of our website.

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

Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland added, “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 post, don’t wait until the deadline to apply. 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 deadline to register to vote for the May 2021 elections is midnight on Monday 19 April.

For further information on the elections, how to register to vote or how to apply to vote by post or by proxy, voters can visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voter. This page will continue to be updated ahead of the polls.

Notes

The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:

  • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
  • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
  • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency

The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK, Scottish and Welsh Parliaments.

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:

  • a British or Irish citizen, or
  • a Commonwealth citizen, who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK, or
  • a citizen of another European Union country, or
  • a qualifying foreign citizen, who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need such permission. Full details on who can vote in elections in Scotland can be found here.

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