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Council staff ensure hospital patient can vote in the Scottish Parliament election

Council staff ensure hospital patient can vote in the Scottish Parliament election
04 May 2021

Every effort is made by Council staff to ensure that everyone who wants to vote can – even if that means hand delivering a replacement postal vote for someone in hospital!

The voter in question contacted the Council to say she was stuck in hospital and had no-one to collect her postal vote form from her home. The wheels were set in motion to help and Audrey Waterson, Executive Support Officer/PA to the Chief Executive, ensured a new postal vote form was delivered personally to the patient to allow her to cast her vote.

Audrey said: “I contacted NHS Orkney - Michael Dickson’s PA - to see if it was appropriate - she checked with the Ward Sister and had confirmed all was good within 10 minutes of my email…I thought that was pretty good service!”

OIC Returning Officer John Mundell said: “This is just one example of how our staff go the extra mile to help ensure everyone who wishes to vote can do so. They also went over and above to make sure folk didn’t miss out on the postal vote deadline last month (April) with staff working during the long bank holiday weekend to ensure poll cards were issued.

“I regularly hear of members of the workforce who raise the bar in their efforts for Orkney residents. This is yet another shining example.”

Everyone is encouraged to vote in the Scottish Parliament election on 6 May – and this year folk are reminded that there will be some additional safety measures in place due to COVID-19 for those choosing to cast their vote in person.

Voters in Kirkwall should head to the Pickaquoy Centre and the South Ronaldsay and Burray Polling Station is now at the Cromarty Hall. Others remain unchanged and details of these are on your polling cards. (You don’t need to take your polling card with you in order to vote).

What to expect on the day:

  • Polling Stations will be open from 07:00 (7am) – 22:00 (10pm) and all safety precautions and guidance measures will be adhered to. This includes physical distancing, limitations on the numbers inside where necessary and one-way systems where possible.
  • Marshalls will be on hand at all the polling stations to guide folk on where to go – please if you are unsure of any procedure just ask.
  • Face coverings are required to be worn and hand sanitizer will be available on entry and exit.
  • Staff will be behind protective screens, and venues will be cleaned thoroughly throughout the day.
  • Voters are welcome to take their own pen or pencil, however there will be a fresh, clean one available for each person.
  • To vote by proxy, after 17:00 (5pm) on Tuesday 27 April 2021, on the grounds of a medical emergency or where you learn you cannot go to the polling station because of unexpected work reasons – the deadline is 17:00 (5pm) on Thursday 6 May 2021.


For more information visit the Scottish Parliament Election - 6 May 2021 page on the Council's website.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS