Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MLA, Emma Sheerin, has this week spoken out ahead of the upcoming local election to urge people who won’t be at home on polling day to request a postal or proxy vote.
Ms Sheerin said: “During elections, I am always contacted by people who are working abroad or on holiday, and haven’t made arrangements to secure a postal or proxy vote in time for polling day, usually because they didn’t know that they could.
“Applications for postal and proxy votes will be accepted until April 10, which gives people a good opportunity to secure their vote in this way if they know that they are going to be unable to vote in person on May 2.
“We have the unfortunate reality in rural areas that an awful lot of people are forced to go abroad on a weekly basis to work, meaning that they will miss the day of the election, falling on Thursday, May 2.
“This should not exclude anyone from having their voice heard at the ballot box.
“You are entitled to a postal or proxy vote if you are ill, on holiday abroad, or working or studying away from home. The application process consists of a simple form that can be downloaded from the electoral office website, any Sinn Féin activist will be happy to help with the filling of this.
“I would urge everyone who might not be available on polling day to vote in person to apply for this service, as it is now more crucial than ever that people use their vote.”