NI Council elections 2023: Voting under way across Derry & Strabane - what to bring with you

Polling stations have now opened across Derry City & Strabane District with local people getting the chance today to vote for who will represent them for the next Council term.
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The polling stations will remain open until 10pm tonight and the Electoral Commission has issued advice for what people will need to bring with them to cast their vote.

A total of 70 candidates are standing in the election across the seven wards that make up the city and district, with 40 seats on the Council to be decided.

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Candidates were gathering at polling stations across the city and district from early this morning along with supporters and campaigners who have been pounding the pavements and going door-to-door in the canvas over the past weeks.

The polling station at Hollybush Primary School in Culmore this morning.The polling station at Hollybush Primary School in Culmore this morning.
The polling station at Hollybush Primary School in Culmore this morning.

Across the north, voters will elect 462 councillors across the 11 local councils in Northern Ireland.

The Electoral Commission has advised that people must remember to bring a correct form of photographic ID with them to vote.

Even if your ID has expired, you will still be able to use it if it still looks like you the Commission has advised.

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Voters will receive one ballot paper and are asked to rank candidates in order of preference on the ballot paper by placing a ‘1’ beside your first preference, a ‘2’ beside your second preference, and so on. Voters can vote for as few or as many candidates as you like.

The count will begin on Friday morning at 9am when ballot boxes are opened at each of the 11 count venues, including at Foyle Arena in Derry.

Cahir Hughes, Head of the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland said earlier this week: “It’s important that voters have all the information they need to make sure their voice is heard at the local elections on 18 May.

“Remember to bring your ID with you to the polling station and rank the candidates in order of preference on your ballot paper using numbers. Staff at the polling station are there to help, so if you have any questions, just ask.”

Voters are required to produce a specified form of photographic identification at the polling station before then can be issued with a ballot paper. These include: a UK, Irish or EU passport, a UK, Irish or EEA driving licence, a Translink 60+ Smartpass, a Translink Senior Smartpass, a Translink Blind Person's Smartpass, a Translink War Disabled Smartpass, an Electoral Identity Card, a Translink Half Fare SmartPass or a biometric immigration document.

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Candidates from Ballyarnett, The Moor, Foyleside, Waterside, Faughan, Sperrin and Derg will find out how they fared over the course of the weekend, and the make-up of the new Council is expected to be confirmed by Saturday or Sunday.