With just over one month to go until the Scottish Parliament elections, a key deadline is looming in the run-up to the polls.

With safety concerns heightened during the coronavirus pandemic, more people are being urged to sign up for a postal vote to avoid trips to polling stations on election day - which is on May 6.

Here, we have pulled together the key bits of information on voting ahead of the election.


Postal voting

The deadline for applying for such a postal vote is tomorrow, April 6, at 5pm.

You can apply to do so here.

If you choose for postal voting, your ballot will be sent to you to complete and return.

Proxy voting

A proxy vote is when someone else is permitted to vote for you.

This can only be done under certain circumstances – like being away on polling day, having a medical issue or disability, or not being able to vote in person because of work or military service.

The deadline to register for a proxy vote is 5pm on Tuesday, April 27.

More information can be found here.

What else has been said?

The safety of campaigners, election workers and the public is central to plans for the Scottish Parliament election, Parliamentary Business Minister Graeme Dey has said.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Mr Dey said strict measures would need to be observed including physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings when leafleting.

Activities such as street stalls, physical hustings and giving voters a lift to polling stations will not be permitted for the duration of the campaign.


Mr Dey said: “An enormous amount of work has taken place across our electoral community to ensure that the election in May can be conducted safely.

“It is as a result of the hard work of electoral professionals over the course of the winter that I am confident the election can go ahead on May 6.

“It is fundamental for a democracy to hold scheduled elections, provided it is safe to do so.”

Malcolm Burr, convener of the Electoral Management Board, said: “Returning Officers take the management of all elections very seriously. On May 6, we will be just as committed to ensuring the safety of voters, candidates, staff, and others as we are to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.

“There will be challenges caused by the pandemic, but with the right planning, support from Public Health officials, guidance from the Electoral Commission and the directions to Returning Officers and Electoral Registration Officers, a safe and well-run election can take place with results in which voters can have confidence."