Advance voting so far slightly ahead of figure at last general election ({{commentsTotal}})

E-voting at the last European Parliament elections in May 2014.
E-voting at the last European Parliament elections in May 2014. Source: (ERR)

Close to 190,000 votes had been cast in advance of next Sunday's general election as of Monday evening. This represents 21.5% of the electorate.

As at 20.00 EET on Monday, 25 February, 145,444 e-votes had been cast, with a further 44,088 being made at regional polling stations.

The advance voting period started on Thursday, 21 February, and runs until Wednesday evening. A period of three ''dark days'' follows, during which no voting can take place, culminating in election day on 3 March. Whereas advanced voting can be conducted both online and at electoral centres in two phases, the first in county towns until Sunday, 25 February, the second at all 451 polling stations nationwide, polling on election day itself can only be done at a polling station.

Hierarchy of voting methods

Furthermore, advance voting allows voters to mark a cross in the box at polling stations in districts away from their place of residence, a practice, largely superseded by e-voting but still available to those unable or unwilling to vote online, which facilitated voting for those in more outlying areas or who work in locations away from their residential address. On election day, however, polling can only be done in person at a person's ''home'' district, and online voting is closed.

On the other hand, advanced e-votes can be amdended by a voter; in other words they can change how they voted online for whatever reason, up until the cut-off at 18.00 on Wednesday.

After a slightly slow start out of the blocks, more votes have been cast for this year's general election compared with at the same stage at the 2015 general election.

Four years ago, 175,357 voters had voted, 19.5% of the total. The proportion of e-votes has also grown since then: just under 60,000 votes had been cast in person at the same stage in 2015, so e-votes made up about 75% of the total, compared with close to 77% in the current election so far.

More information, including on polling stations' locations and e-voting, is here.

Editor: Andrew Whyte



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