Reminder on voting

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Local voters are being reminded about the system they have to use at this week’s council elections (Thursday).

The Single Transferable Vote (STV) system means voters have to use numbers instead of an X to mark their ballot papers.

Voters number candidates in order of choice. They mark a 1 by their first choice candidate, a 2 by their second, a 3 by their third and so on.

Voters do not need to number all the candidates if they don’t want to but they will need to number at least one for their vote to count.

Colin Mackenzie, Returning Officer for Aberdeenshire Council, said: “This year we are voting with numbers instead of using an ‘X’.

“It’s important to take the time to read the ballot paper instructions carefully so you can be sure you have completed your ballot paper properly.”

The independent Electoral Commission has sent a voter information booklet to all homes in Scotland, a copy of which is also available online at: www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission’s Scotland Office said: “It’s your vote and we don’t want you to lose it by not filling in the ballot paper correctly.

“Make sure your vote counts on May 3 by reading the booklet we sent to every house.”

There are some simple steps voters can take to make sure they can have their say.

• Check where you should vote. Details of your local polling station will be on your poll card. If you have not received it or are unsure of where to go see: http://bitly.com/Iza24C Polling stations will be open from 7am – 10pm.

• Bring your poll card with you to the polling station, it may speed things up. But don’t worry if you don’t have it, you can still vote without it.

• If you’re unsure of how to complete your ballot paper, a member of staff will be able to help you.

• Pop your ballot paper in the ballot box and that’s it done.

• If you applied for a postal vote, make sure it is returned by 10pm on Thursday, May 3. If you have left it too late to post back, you can drop it off at your polling station.

For more information on voting and the elections visit: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/elections

An animation featuring Victor the Voter helps explain what to do when you go to vote on May 3 and can be seen here: http://bitly.com/JMvp0N

For information on how the Single Transferable Vote system works, see here: http://bitly.com/Jq41s3