To be eligible to vote you must be:
- 16 or over on 5 May 2022
- living in Scotland
- a British or Irish citizen, or
- if you hold EU citizenship (other than Republic of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus) and have permission to enter or stay in the UK, or do not need permission
- a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave
- a registered Crown Servant, British council employee or member of the armed forces serving overseas
- not legally excluded from voting
To vote in the elections, you must be registered by Midnight on Monday 18 April 2022. You can now register to vote (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) online or alternatively, contact your local Electoral Registration Officer.
The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO)
42 Point Street
Isle of Lewis
Tel: 01851 706262
Fax: 01851 706843
Registering to Vote
Midnight on Monday 18 April 2022
New Postal Vote Applications and Changes to Existing Postal Votes
5pm on Tuesday 19 April 2022
New Applications to Vote by Proxy
5pm on Tuesday 26 April 2022
7am to 10pm on Thursday 5 May 2022
Deadline for Emergency Proxy Applications
5pm on Thursday 5 May 2022
Last time for re-issue of lost and spoilt postal votes
10pm on Thursday 5 May 2022
If your name is on the register of electors, you are aged 16 or over and you are eligible to vote in the above election, you will receive a poll card. This will tell you where your Polling Station is and when it is open. The card is for information only. Do not worry if you lose the card as you can still vote without it, but it will make it easier if you take it to the Polling Station and show it to the Presiding Officer/Polling Clerk. If however, you do not receive a poll card, this could mean that you are registered at an old address or are not included on the register and you should contact the Electoral Registration Officer. If you are on the list of Absent Voters you will receive a postal voters' poll card. The first dispatch of Poll cards will be 15/16 March 2022.
How do I Vote?
- in person at a polling place
- by post, or
- by proxy, if you meet the requirements
Voting in Person
To vote in person you should go to the Polling Station listed on your Poll Card. A list of all the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Wards and Polling Stations are available and an interactive link (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) to each station can viewed online. Polling Stations will be operating with appropriate hygiene and physical distancing measures in place. We are following all guidelines as set out by all Public Health Scotland, Scottish Government, the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Management Board.
Voting by Post
Anyone can vote by post. You can apply for a postal vote for a particular Election, for a set period of time or for all future Elections. To apply for a postal vote you should contact the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) or you can download a postal vote application form Application for Postal Vote Link (») (Opens in a new window or downloads a file). These should be returned directly to the ERO and not to the Comhairle Election Office. Applications to vote by post, or to cancel or alter existing postal votes/proxy votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by 5.00pm on Tuesday 19 April 2022.
Personal Identifiers for Postal Voting
If you have applied for a new postal vote for these elections or if you already have a postal vote or a postal proxy you will have been asked by the Electoral Registration Officer to supply your date of birth and signature (in the case of a postal proxy you will have also been asked to supply the date of birth and signature of the person whom you have appointed as your proxy). These are called Personal Identifiers.
You will receive a Postal Voting Statement with your ballot paper and you will be requested to complete your date of birth and signature prior to returning it with your ballot paper unless you have requested a ‘waiver’ (if you are unable to provide a signature then you may request the ERO to waive this requirement). Further information on applying for a ‘waiver’ can be obtained from the ERO.
All Returning Officers are now required to check Personal Identifiers on Postal Voting Statements returned and compare them with those previously supplied on your postal voting application.
Voting by Proxy
Voting by proxy means someone else votes on your behalf. You can apply for a proxy vote for a particular election, for a set period of time or for all future elections. Anyone can be your proxy as long as they are eligible to vote in the election and they are willing to vote on your behalf.
You have to provide a reason for needing a proxy vote. For example, maybe you can't get to the polling station on Election Day because:-
- you are going to be away on holiday
- you have a physical condition that prevents you from getting to the polling place
- the kind of work you do means you can not get to the polling place
- you have to attend an educational course
- you are a British citizen living overseas
- you are a Crown Servant or a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces
To apply for a proxy vote you should contact the ERO or you can download a proxy vote (») (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) application form. The deadline for changes to existing proxy votes is 5.00pm on Tuesday 19 April 2022. New applications to vote by proxy must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by 5.00pm, Tuesday 26 April 202 and emergency proxy applications by 5.00pm, Thursday 5 May 2022.
Single Transferable Vote (STV) Explained
How to Vote Using STV
- The ballot paper lists the name of each candidate along with their party name, party logo and their address.
- The ballot papers are sorted according to the first preferences (first choices) marked by the voters and the total number of votes for each candidate is counted. Any candidate whose vote equals or exceeds the quota is elected.
- If any candidate has more votes than the quota, that surplus above the quota must be transferred in accordance with the second and later preferences recorded on the ballot papers.
- If after all the surpluses have been transferred some vacancies remain to be filled, the candidate with fewest votes is excluded and that candidate’s votes are transferred in accordance with the second and later preferences recorded on the ballot papers.
- The transfers of votes continue, stage by stage, until all the vacancies have been filled, with any surplus being transferred before any exclusion is made.