Northern Ireland

Voting 'slow but steady' in Northern Ireland

Voting has been described as "slow but steady" across Northern Ireland, where three elections are taking place.

Voters are being asked to choose assembly members, councillors and to decide on a proposed new voting system to elect MPs.

More than 1,200,000 people are registered to vote in Northern Ireland. Polling stations have been open since 0700 BST and will close at 2200 BST.

The Electoral Office said it expected an increase in turnout after tea-time.

"We would encourage electors who have not yet cast their vote to do so as early in the evening as possible and not to leave it to the last minute," it added.

Earlier, a senior police officer said there would be an increased security presence.

Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie said this was to ensure there was no interference in the electoral process.

Preference

When you arrive at the polling station you will need proof of identity in order to vote.

Acceptable forms of ID include a UK, Irish or EU passport, a photographic Northern Ireland, Great Britain or European driving licence, an electoral identity card or one of the Translink smartpasses issued to senior citizens, the blind or those with a war disability.

Once you have proven your identity, you will be given three ballot papers.

Image caption The white ballot paper is for the assembly election and the brown one is for the council poll

There is a white paper for the assembly election and a brown one for the council poll.

You should mark these papers with 1, 2, 3 and so on in order of your preference. You will also get a third light grey paper for the Westminster referendum.

This will ask whether you support changing the way MPs are elected from the current first-past-the-post system to the Alternative Vote system.

Mark this paper with an X to say either yes or no to the change.

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