Use your postal vote

Ballot papers for postal voters in Aberdeenshire will be arriving on doormats over the next few days, ahead of the local government elections on Thursday (May 3).

Over 32,000 postal votes have been issued in Aberdeenshire alone, and those using this voting method are urged to do so correctly.

Historically a number of postal votes have had to be rejected because they have been filled in incorrectly.

Returning Officer for Aberdeenshire Council, Colin Mackenzie, advises postal voters: “When you receive your postal voting pack, make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully before completing your ballot paper.

“Don’t forget to include your date of birth and signature on the postal voting statement.

“This statement is kept separate from your ballot paper so your vote is always secret. Follow the instructions in the pack to make sure your vote counts.”

Andy O’Neill, Head of the Scotland Office at the Electoral Commission, the independent elections watchdog, has also advised voters to make sure they return their ballot papers promptly.

“Postal ballot papers must be received by the Returning Officer by 10pm on May 3 at the latest,” he said.

“So, as soon as you have completed your ballot paper and postal vote statement place them in the envelope provided and return it to make sure that it is received in good time.”

There are some simple steps to take to help make sure your vote counts:

Complete your Postal Voting Statement (PVS) with your date of birth and your signature. Make sure you fill in your date of birth, not today’s date.

Follow the instructions on the ballot paper to number the candidates in your order of choice (put the number 1 in the voting box next to your first choice, the number 2 in the voting box next to your second choice, the number 3 in the voting box next to your third choice, and so on). You can make as many or as few choices as you wish. Do not mark the ballot paper in any other way or your vote may not count.

Put your ballot paper into envelope A (without detaching the PVS) and seal it.

Your ballot paper is now sealed inside envelope A. Put your completed PVS AND attached envelope A into envelope B.

Seal and post envelope B. If it’s posted in the UK, this will be free.

Return your postal vote straight away. We must receive it by 10pm on polling day, Thursday, May 3, so make sure you leave enough time for it to arrive in the post. If you prefer, you can hand in your postal vote at the election office at the address on envelope B or you can take it to any polling station in the Aberdeenshire Council area between 7am and 10pm on polling day.

To find out where your nearest polling station is, or if you make a mistake, need help to vote or are not sure what to do, call (01224) 664176 or e-mail: elections@aberdeenshire.gov.uk