Election 2019

General Election 2019: Fall in NI postal and proxy votes

Polling station sign Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nationalist constituencies have recorded the highest figures for proxy votes

There has been a drop in the number of postal and proxy votes for the general election compared to the last Westminster poll.

Figures released by the Electoral Office show a total of 16,969 people have received a postal vote.

That is down from 23,687 in the last general election in 2017.

Proxy votes have also dipped from 11,707 in 2017 to 8,820 for Thursday's poll.

Nationalist constituencies have recorded the highest figures for proxy votes with Fermanagh and South Tyrone coming out on top with 1,557, which is down on the 1,707 from the last general election.

In Foyle, 905 voters will be allowed to vote by proxy and that has dipped from 1,282 in 2017.

Strangford has the lowest recorded proxy votes figure at 143.

To vote by proxy, you must complete an application form setting out the reason why you cannot vote in person at a polling station.

The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland said all applications are checked to ensure the applications are genuine.

A spokeswoman said: "Electorate may choose to vote by post or by appointing a proxy to make their vote for them.

"Both processes require an application to the Electoral Office where various checks are carried out on the authenticity and appropriateness of the request.

"For example, in an application due to illness, the signature of a doctor may be required.

"Outside of family members, a person may only act as proxy for two other people and the Electoral Office runs checks against this electronically to ensure these legal obligations are met."

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