When and where will the count results be published?

  1. Who is eligible to vote at the NI Assembly election?
  2. I’m an overseas elector, why can I not vote at this election?
  3. How do I know where to go to vote?
  4. When will I receive my poll card?
  5. I haven't received a poll card - what should I do?
  6. I've lost my poll card - can you issue a replacement?
  7. I've received a poll card for the people who used to live here - what should I do?
  8. I've received a poll card for a person who is now deceased - what should I do?
  9. I have a permanent postal vote but have received a poll card - does this mean I can't vote by post?
  10. Can I bring my dog into the polling station?
  11. Can I take photos inside the polling station?
  12. Can I vote online?
  13. What is the voting procedure at the polling station?
  14. How do I mark my ballot paper at this election?
  15. Why are pencils used to mark the ballot paper? Can I use my own pen instead?
  16. Where can I get a list of all candidates for this election?
  17. I vote by the party, are these marked on the ballot paper?
  18. Do I have to vote? Is it a legal requirement?
  19. What identity documents can I use to vote at the polling station?
  20. The address on my identity document is out-of-date - can I still use it?
  21. I recently got married and only have ID documents in my maiden name - can I still vote?
  22. My Electoral ID Card has expired - do I need to apply for a new one?
  23. How do I apply for an Electoral ID Card?
  24. How do I apply to vote by post or proxy?
  25. What facilities are available to help voters with a disability vote at this election?
  26. Who can act as a companion at the polling station? What do they need to do?
  27. When and where will the counts be held?
  28. When and where will the count results be published?
  29. I'm a journalist - how do I get press accreditation for the Count?
  30. How do I apply to be an observer at this election?
  31. Are Area Offices open on polling day?
  32. How do I apply to work at elections?

Who is eligible to vote at the NI Assembly election?

All persons who are:

  • Listed on the electoral register
  • At least 18 years of age on 2 March 2017
  • 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.

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.

How do I know where to go to vote?

Poll cards will be issued from 6 to 8 February and will include the location of your polling station. If for any reason you do not receive a poll card you can use the post code search facility on the homepage which will provide the address of your polling station. Alternatively, phone our Helpline on 0800 4320 712 to get the address of your polling station. You do not need your poll card to vote, it is for information purposes only.

When will I receive my poll card?

Poll cards will be sent out from 6 to 8 February.

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 our Helpline on 0800 4320 712 and we will advise you.

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 don’t need your poll card to vote, it’s for information purposes only. You should go to your polling station on 2 March 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.

I've received a poll card for the people who used to live here - what should I do?

Please return the poll card to the Area Office marked “not at this address” so the office can update their records.

If you are listed on the register at your previous address you will be able to vote at the polling station allocated to that address. If you are unsure of the location of the polling station you can use the post code search facility on the homepage which will provide the address. Alternatively, phone our Helpline to get the address of your polling station.

I've received a poll card for a person who is now deceased - what should I do?

Please return the poll card to the Area Office marked “not at this address” so the office can update their records.

I have a permanent postal vote but have received a poll card - does this mean I can't vote by post?

No, all voters now receive a poll card to ensure they are made aware that an election is taking place.

Can I bring my dog into the polling station?

Only assistance dogs will be allowed in the polling station, other dogs will need to be tied up outside.

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.

Can I vote online?

No, you can only vote by going to a polling station or voting by post or proxy.

What is the voting procedure at the polling station?

At the polling station table:

  1. A member of polling station staff will ask you to confirm your name and address.
  2. You will be asked to produce your photographic identification.
  3. They will issue the ballot paper to you.
  4. You should then go to the polling booth, mark your ballot paper, fold it to conceal your vote and insert it into the ballot box.

If you need assistance you should ask a member of staff.

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.

 

Why are pencils used to mark the ballot paper? Can I use my own pen instead?

Pencils are used to mark the ballot paper as pens can rip the paper, but you can use your own pen if you prefer.

Where can I get a list of all candidates for this election?

The list of candidates will be published on our website after the close of nominations on 8 February.

I vote by the party, are these marked on the ballot paper?

Yes the party name and logo will be displayed alongside the candidate’s name on the ballot paper.

Do I have to vote? Is it a legal requirement?

No – it is a legal requirement to register to vote if we contact you but it is not a legal requirement to vote.

What identity documents can I use to vote at the polling station?

The following identity documents can be used to prove your identity when you vote at a polling station:

  • 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.

 

The address on my identity document is out-of-date - can I still use it?

Yes as the document is used to prove your identity rather than your address.

I recently got married and only have ID documents in my maiden name - can I still vote?

If you take your identity document to the polling station along with your original marriage certificate you will be able to vote using your maiden name.

 

My Electoral ID Card has expired - do I need to apply for a new one?

If your Electoral Identity Card has expired you do not need to renew it to vote at a polling station - identity documents produced at a polling station are no longer required 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 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 this election is 5.00pm on 10 February.

 

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.

Who can act as a companion at the polling station? What do they need to do?

The companion must be either:

  • A registered elector; or
  • Over 18 years old and the parent/brother/sister/spouse/civil partner/child of the elector they are assisting

A companion cannot assist more than two electors to vote at an election. The elector will need to tell the polling station staff that they wish their companion to assist them to vote and the companion will be required to complete a form before they can assist the voter.

When and where will the counts be held?

Count Venues (PDF)

When and where will the count results be published?

The results for each constituency will be published on the EONI website as soon as practicable after the results have been declared.

I'm a journalist - how do I get press accreditation for the Count?

You can apply for press accreditation for the count using the online form.

How do I apply to be an observer at this election?

Please contact the Electoral Commission on 028 9089 4020.

Are Area Offices open on polling day?

Yes offices are open from 7am to 10pm on polling day.

How do I apply to work at elections?

Any vacancies are advertised on the Recruitment page of our website.