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Council staff step up election preparations

Voters will go to the polls on May 6 for the Scottish Parliament Elections.

And here in North Ayrshire, our election team are continuing to make preparations ahead of the big day.

Locally, voters will elect MSPs for the Cunninghame North or Cunninghame South constituencies. In addition, North Ayrshire forms part of the West Scotland Region which elects seven list MSPs to represent the area.

This will be the first time we will have had to prepare for an election during a pandemic and every effort is being made to ensure it goes safely and smoothly for all involved.

Constituency Returning Officer Craig Hatton said: “This will be a historic election in many ways, not least because it will be held when there are likely to be restrictions in place related to the pandemic.

“However, the team organising the election are doing a marvellous job in very challenging circumstances to ensure everyone will be able to exercise their democratic right to vote.

“We are very mindful that some form of restrictions are likely to be place on May 6 so many voters may wish to consider a postal vote this time around.

“For those who wish to cast their vote in person, the safety of voters and our polling place staff will be paramount and additional hygiene and safety measures will be in force.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all staff who will be working tirelessly to ensure this election goes off without a hitch, whether they are based at polling places, at the count or behind the scenes. Your efforts don’t go unnoticed and are very much appreciated.”

The hygiene measures at polling places will include the use of sanitisers, masks, physical distancing, single-use pencils and enhanced cleaning. COVID Compliance Officers will be on hand within polling places to ensure adherence to the measures.

Safety measures will also be in place for staff at the Count, being held on Friday, May 7, at St Matthew’s Academy.  The Count will adopt the same safety measures being introduced in polling places and instructions will be issued to staff to ensure everyone is aware of the arrangements.

There are still a number of opportunities available for staff to get involved in the election process, either at polling places or at the count. To find out more, please email as soon as possible.

A declaration for the constituency results is expected to be made late in the afternoon of May 7 with the regional list declaration expected early evening.

To ensure you are registered to vote, visit the Register to Vote website before the deadline on Monday, 19 April.

To apply for a Proxy Vote, visit the Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board website before the deadline on Tuesday, 27 April, at 5pm.

Voters who are already registered should have started to receive their polling cards.  Voters are reminded to check their polling card carefully as this provides details of the location of their Polling Place and this may have changed since the last election.

Polling Places will be open from 7am – 10pm on Thursday, 6 May. For further information about the upcoming election and how to register, please visit our website.

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