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Polls are now open in the UK General Election for 2019; Highland voters head to polls in Skye, Ross and Lochaber; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey; and Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituencies

By Scott Maclennan

Ballot box
Ballot box

VOTERS across the Highlands have begun heading to the polls in the UK's 2019 General Election.

Tens of thousands of Highlanders are heading to vote for their preferred candidate all across the region.

The Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspeyconstituency saw six candidates enter the race to take up a seat in the Houses of Commons.

The Scottish Green Party fielded Ariane Claire Burgess, the Brexit Party entered Les Durance, Fiona Gay Fawcett represents the Scottish Conservative And Unionist Party, Drew Hendry is on the SNP ticket, Robert Denis James Rixson was the choice for the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Lewis Ian Whyte represents the Scottish Labour Party.

Polling stations opened at 7am and will close at 10pm this evening. The constituency’s 119 ballot boxes will then be sealed and transported to the official count at Inverness Leisure Centre.

Simultaneously, votes from the two other Highland constituencies of Ross, Skye and Lochaber and Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross will be tallied at the same venue.

The count will be overseen by Highland Council chief executive Donna Manson and a team largely comprising at least 18 top staff whose roles range from managing the counting to communications.

Dozens of other council staff and counters will also be involved in the process.

Voters will have the choice of dozens of polling stations from Gergask Primary School in Newtonmore to Merkinch Community Centre on the Beauly Firth.

Mrs Manson has already called on the public to take part in the election saying “your vote matters".

The official advice for those voting is to mark your vote in the General Election with a single X (cross) against your choice of candidate.

Clear instructions will be on display in every polling booth and trained polling station staff will be on hand to answer any questions.

Postal voters who have missed the post are reminded that they can hand in their General Election postal ballot papers to any of the Highland polling stations up until 10pm today.

To check where your local polling station is people can visit the council’s website at https://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/21500/notice-of-poll-ukpge_-_inbs.

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