Westminster votes to be counted overnight

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The vote count for the 2015 Westminster election in Northern Ireland will take place overnight Northern Ireland’s electoral office has revealed.

The count for the Foyle and East Derry seat will take place in Templemore Sports Complex.

Traditionally overnight counts did not take place for security reasons during the Troubles. However overnight counts were held for the first time in 2010 when the count in Derry was suspended due to a security alert.

However Templemore was used again in 2014 for the local council count without any interruptions.

It is anticipated that the 2015 election results will be delivered in the early hours of May 8. Polling day is on May 7.

Already polling cards have been delivered to addresses across Derry. If you haven’t got your vote, there’s still time.

SDLP Derry City Councillor Martin Reilly said now is a good time for people to not only ensure they are on the electoral register but also to apply for a postal or proxy vote if they are unlikely to be in Derry on Thursday 7th May.

“In addition, elderly citizens who are unable to get to a polling station on the 7th May can also apply by contacting the Electoral Office on 0800 4320712 or any of the SDLP offices in the city,” he said.

Sinn Féin West Tyrone Director of Elections Colr Seán Begley says anyone who has been on the electoral register in the six counties at any time in the last 15 years and who is now living in the 26 counties or oversees are among categories entitled to an absentee vote in Westminster Elections.

He said: “Thursday 16 April is the cut of date to apply for an ‘absent vote’ in the upcoming Westminster Election. I would urge everyone who, for whatever reason, will be unable to make it to the polling station in person to now apply to vote by post or by proxy by this date.

“At every election many voters miss out on the opportunity to cast their vote because they have missed this absentee voter deadline. I would therefore urge anyone who falls into any of the following categories to secure their absent voting entitlement now: Housebound due to illness, a student away at University, working away from home during weekdays, anyone who will be away on holiday on Election Day, registered to vote in the 6 counties at any time over this last 15 years (and now living in the 26 counties or oversees).

The deadline for registering to vote at the UK Parliamentary election on 7 May 2015 is 20 April.