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!

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  • “take ballot papers out of the polling station”

    Wonder what would happen if you were to do that – and not use them?

  • The “specimen” ballot papers issued by Sinn Féin are more sophisticated. Now produced on card rather than paper they are headed “Unofficial POLL CARD” and are individually proced. One delivered for every voter in the this house. This morning.
    Contains the Name, Address, Voter Register Number of everyone plus the ballot box number.
    The reverse of the “card” shows a sample ballot with only the Sinn Fein name showing and a #1 beside it.

  • * “individually addressed”

  • Student of the World

    fitzjameshorse1745 ,

    In the States, a registered voter will actually receive a ballot from his/her party that is an exact replica of the real ballot. This sample ballot will already be filled in with votes that support the party’s agenda so that supporters don’t have to spend time reading the ballots when they reach the poll box. Are the poll cards from Sinn Féin similar? This always feels like a way to corral the mindless masses into supporting a platform they don’t fully understand or comprehend.

  • “Mindless Masses”?
    Do you mean people with Twitter accounts?

  • separatesix

    Electronic voting would be better apart from the fraud element!