Electors in the Highlands heading to the polls on Thursday (5 May) to vote in the Scottish Parliamentary elections and the national referendum on the voting system to be adopted by the UK Parliament are being reminded of the procedure to follow in completing their ballot papers.
At their local polling station, electors will be given three ballot papers.
In Highland there are three constituencies – Caithness, Sutherland and Ross; Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch; and Inveness and Nairn. Electors will receive a lilac coloured ballot paper to elect their constituency member. On the constituency ballot paper, electors mark one cross (X) in the box opposite the name of one candidate. The candidate with the most votes wins.
As well as returning a Member of the Scottish Parliament in their constituency, electors will be asked to complete a ballot paper to elect 7 Additional Members from the Highlands and Islands Regional List to the Scottish Parliament. The ballot paper is peach coloured.
On the regional ballot paper, electors vote for a party to represent the region. Voters should mark a cross (X) once in the box opposite the name of one party.
The Referendum will ask electors to vote "Yes" or "No" to the following question: "At present, the UK uses the first-past-the-post system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the alternative vote system be used instead?" Electors show their choice by putting a cross (X) in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ box on their ballot paper, which is coloured grey.
Polling will take place at 306 polling stations in the three Highland constituencies between 7 am and 10 pm on Thursday 5 May. Ballot boxes will be taken to the Highland Football Academy, Victoria Park, Dingwall, where the votes will be verified between 10 pm and 5 am on Friday 6 May.
The counts for the three Scottish Parliamentary constituencies in the Highlands will commence at 9 am on Friday 6 May. The results are anticipated from noon on Friday 6 May when the count of the Regional List ballot papers will begin. The Regional List result should be known by 4 pm.
Counting of the votes cast at the Referendum will commence at 4 pm on Friday 6 May with the result being anticipated between 6pm and 7pm
A total of 25,137 electors have chosen to vote by post. Any late postal voters can return their vote at any polling station up until 10 pm on Thursday.