Vote early, bring your spectacles … but don’t stand in the middle of the road or you’ll get run over

Chief electoral officer Graham Shields and head of the Electoral Commission in NI Séamus Magee posing with enormous ballot papers

While the Chief Electoral Officer Graham Shields and NI head of the Electoral Commission Séamus Magee are clearly holding dummy oversized ballot paper samples, the real thing won’t be much shorter in some polling stations.

With an inch-high rows per candidate and space for the constituency details at the top, the East Belfast Assembly paper – with 17 candidates – could be close to two feet long! That’ll be fun to manipulate and fill in on the polling booth shelves.

As the Newsletter article explains:

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm but only those who get into a polling station by 10pm will get ballot papers.

A polling card will speed up the process but is not necessary to vote. However an acceptable form of photo identification such as a passport or driving licence is essential …

Chief electoral officer Graham Shields said that it had been a “huge logistical challenge” to organise three polls on a single day and Séamus Magee, head of the Electoral Commission, urged voters to plan ahead given that there are three ballot papers.

However, neither organisation charged with administering or overseeing the three elections recommends that you take your ballot papers out of the polling station and stand in the middle of the road to determine which candidate(s) to vote for!