Election FAQs

  1. Who is eligible to vote at the Carrick Castle by-election?
  2. How do I find out if I am listed on the electoral register?
  3. I’m an overseas elector, why can I not vote at this election?
  4. I haven't received a poll card - what should I do?
  5. I've lost my poll card - can you issue a replacement?
  6. What ID do I need to bring to vote?
  7. How do I apply for an Electoral ID Card?
  8. How do I mark my ballot paper at this election?
  9. What facilities are available to help voters with a disability vote at this election?
  10. Can I take photos inside the polling station?
  11. How do I apply to vote by post or proxy?
  12. What is my Digital Registration Number (DRN)?
  13. When will postal votes be issued?
  14. Can I leave my postal vote into a polling station or the local council office?
  15. I applied for a postal vote but it turns out I'm going to be able to go to my polling station after all - is that ok?
  16. I applied for a proxy but it turns out I'm going to be able to go to my polling station after all - is that ok?
  17. When will the count be held and the result published?
  18. I'm a candidate at the by-election - where can I find information about expenses?

Who is eligible to vote at the Carrick Castle by-election?

All persons who are:

  • Listed on the electoral register in the Carrick Castle district electoral area
  • At least 18 years of age on 18 October 2018
  • British, Irish, European and qualifying Commonwealth citizens*

* "qualifying Commonwealth citizen" means that the applicant must have leave to remain in the United Kingdom or not require such leave, i.e. they must be in the UK legally.

How do I find out if I am listed on the electoral register?

Contact the Newtownabbey (A) office on 028 9044 6630.

I’m an overseas elector, why can I not vote at this election?

The law does not permit overseas electors to vote at NI Assembly or local council elections, only UK Parliamentary and European elections.

I haven't received a poll card - what should I do?

You can vote without your poll card, provided you are listed on the register. If you are unsure if you are listed on the register, phone the Newtownabby (A) Office on 028 9044 6630.

If you are unsure of the location of your polling station you can find it using the post code search facility on the homepage.

I've lost my poll card - can you issue a replacement?

We cannot issue replacement poll cards. You do not need your poll card to vote, it is for information purposes only. You should go to your polling station on 18 October with your ID and you will be able to vote.

If you are unsure of the location of your polling station you can find it using the post code search facility on the homepage.

What ID do I need to bring to vote?

  • A UK, Irish or EEA driving licence (photographic part) (provisional accepted)
  • A UK, Irish  or EU passport
  • An Electoral Identity Card
  • A Translink Senior SmartPass 
  • A Translink 60+ SmartPass
  • A Translink War Disabled SmartPass
  • A Translink Blind Person’s SmartPass

The identification document does not need to be current, as long as the photograph is of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.

How do I apply for an Electoral ID Card?

Please visit the How to apply page for details of how to make an application.

How do I mark my ballot paper at this election?

On the ballot paper, mark a ‘1’ against your first preferred candidate, a ‘2’ against your second preferred candidate and so on, for as many candidates as you wish. Do not write anything else on the paper or your vote may not be counted.

What facilities are available to help voters with a disability vote at this election?

The following facilities are available at polling stations to assist voters with disabilities:

  • a polling booth with a shelf at a height suitable for people in wheelchairs
  • a polling booth with extra lighting
  • a large print version of the ballot paper
  • a device with Braille (known as a selector device) to help voters mark their ballot paper

If you want to use any of these items, please tell the staff at the polling station when they give you your ballot paper.

If you cannot mark the ballot paper yourself due to a disability, you can have it marked for you by a companion or by the person in charge of the polling station (the Presiding Officer).

You will need to tell the polling station staff that this is how you want to vote and why. If your companion is voting for you they will be asked to fill in a form. Your ballot paper will be marked and placed in the ballot box on your behalf.

Can I take photos inside the polling station?

You can take pictures outside the polling station but you must not take pictures inside the polling station - if you inadvertently disclose how someone has voted you would be breaking the law.

How do I apply to vote by post or proxy?

Please visit the Voting by post or proxy page for information on how to apply for a postal or proxy vote.

The deadline for the receipt of applications for the Carrick Castle by-election is 5.00pm on 28 September 2018.

What is my Digital Registration Number (DRN)?

If you applied to register online you will have been issued with a Digital Registration Number (DRN) when your application was approved. You will need this number to apply to vote by post or proxy. If you did not register online you will not need this number.

If you have lost your DRN and need a replacement please contact the Absent Voting Unit on 028 9044 6668.

When will postal votes be issued?

Postal votes for the by-election will be issued on 4 October.

Can I leave my postal vote into a polling station or the local council office?

No your postal vote must be returned to the Newtownabbey (A) office, it will not be accepted at a polling station or local council office.

I applied for a postal vote but it turns out I'm going to be able to go to my polling station after all - is that ok?

No unless you cancel your postal vote (the deadline for this is 5pm on Friday 28 September).

I applied for a proxy but it turns out I'm going to be able to go to my polling station after all - is that ok?

Yes as long as you get there before your proxy you will be able to vote instead.

When will the count be held and the result published?

The count of ballot papers will begin after the verification has been completed on Friday 19 October and will continue until the result is declared.

The result will be published on the Council website as soon as possible after the result has been declared.

I'm a candidate at the by-election - where can I find information about expenses?

Information about election expenses can be found on the Information for Candidates and Agents page. If you need advice or assistance with expenses you should contact the Electoral Commission (not the Electoral Office) on 0333 103 1928.