Isle of Bute and Helensburgh and Lomond South by-elections - Safety at polling stations

Published Date: 

11 Mar 2021 - 09:42

Polling stations are safe places to vote and while there are options like postal or proxy votes, some people will still prefer to cast their vote in person.

People will see some changes at polling stations – all designed to ensure that voters can comply with Covid-19 restrictions like social distancing.

There may be separate doors to enter and leave the polling place, and a one-way system marked out to follow once inside.

As is the case when using other public buildings like shops and supermarkets, face coverings should be worn while inside unless exempt.

Polling booths will be regularly sanitised and disposable single use pencils will be provided for voting.

There will be extra staff on hand at busier polling stations, both inside and outside, and staff will be using PPE and screens.

Voting may take longer than normal at busier times and if there are already several people inside, voters may be asked to queue outside the venue for a short time.

Everyone inside the polling station must comply with social distancing requirements at all times.

What will the count arrangements be? Will the counts be conducted locally to each ward, or will both take place at Kilmory? And will they be done overnight or the day after?

Both will take place the next day at Lochgilphead Joint Campus with Covid arrangements in place. They will take place between 9am and 2pm on Friday 19 March and consecutively in ward order with Bute first, followed by Lomond south.

Will people have to bring their own pens for the by-election? If they don't bring one, will they be able to have them supplied at the polling stations, or not be able to vote?

We will be providing single use pencils for people to take away after use.

What if I become ill on the day of the election, or have to self-isolate, and can’t go along to a polling station?

If you want to vote in the Isle of Bute or Helensburgh and Lomond South by-elections, but can’t vote in person due to a last minute medical emergency, it’s still possible to take part and have your say.

An emergency proxy vote means that someone else can attend at the polling station and cast your vote on your behalf.

You can apply for an emergency proxy vote if you have a medical emergency or condition, if you are self-isolating due to Covid-19 or if your work or military service means you are unable to get to the polling station. In all cases it must be circumstances that you weren’t aware of before the usual deadline for proxy vote applications.

You can make an application for an emergency proxy vote right up to 5pm on polling day, Thursday 18th March.

You can download an application form from Voting in the Scotland by-elections | Electoral Commission or by calling 0800 980 0470 to ask for a form.

Once you have completed the form, you should send it to the local Electoral Registration Office before 5pm on 18th March (the quickest way is to send by email or otherwise ensure it arrives with Argyll and Bute Electoral Registration Office, Kilbrannan House, Bolgam Street, Campbeltown PA28 6JY by 5pm on polling day).