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Still time to apply to vote in Highland Council by-election

By Philip Murray

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Don't miss out on your right to vote.
Don't miss out on your right to vote.

RESIDENTS of a large Highland Council ward to the south and west of Inverness have been urged to make sure they don't miss out on their right to vote in an upcoming by-election.

Six candidates are vying for a vacant seat in the Aird and Loch Ness ward, with polling expected to take place on March 11.

However, the deadline to register to vote is rapidly closing – with completed forms needed by no later than midnight on Tuesday, February 23.

Everyone who is eligible to vote can vote in person on the day at a polling station or can apply for either a postal vote or to vote by proxy. But voters must make sure they are registered to avoid missing out.

A message has also gone out via the council’s schools’ network to remind any pupils aged 16 years and over living in the ward that they are also eligible to register and take part. A letter is also getting sent to this age group from the Electoral Registration Office with details on how to register.

The latest time to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Wednesday, February 24 and the deadline for anyone wishing to apply to vote by proxy is Wednesday, March 3.

Advice on registering to take part, postal voting and voting by proxy is available by contacting the Electoral Registration Office on 0800 393783, or emailing ero@highland.gov.uk. Further information on how to download or request a postal vote application form can be found at www.saa.gov.uk/h-wi-vjb.

Postal packs will start to be dispatched by Royal Mail on March 2 to those registered electors that have submitted a form by the postal vote deadline. Further guidance will be available on the council’s website on how to complete your postal pack.

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday, March 11 and the counting of votes will take place the following day.

"Anyone intending to vote is reminded that the single transferable vote system will be used," said a council spokesman. "Instead of using a cross, voters should number the candidates in the order of their choice, putting a number 1 in the box next to the name of the candidate who is their first choice, 2 in the box next to their second choice and so on. Voters can mark as many choices as they wish.

"Voters are asked to put no other mark on the ballot paper as this could result in their vote not being counted."

The six candidates standing for election are:

  • BERKENHEGER, Gavin - Scottish Conservative and Unionist
  • FRASER, David - Independent
  • MACKINTOSH, Ryan - Scottish Green Party
  • MOORE, Bill - Scottish Labour Party
  • ROBERTSON, Martin - Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • SHANKS, Gordon - Scottish National Party (SNP)

The Notice Of Poll along with all information about the by-election, including a short video on voting options and answers to frequently asked questions, is available by visiting the council’s website – www.highland.gov.uk/ward12byelection.

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