Update on who can vote in the community ballot

Everyone who lives in Portobello belongs here and will be able to use Bellfield once we acquire it. However, while ideally every Portobello resident should have a right to vote in the ballot through which we hope to secure Bellfield, there are three reasons why you may not receive a ballot paper:

1. Are you on the electoral register?

The ballot is commissioned by the Scottish Government and conducted by the Electoral Reform Society (not by Action Porty) using very tight rules so it is only those on the electoral register (those who are over 16, and are citizens of the EU) who get a vote.

In conducting the ballot, the Electoral Reform Services are only able to access the open electoral register (which would exclude all who choose to be on the closed register in the hope that this will dissuade junk mail) and have therefore had to go through the copy of the open register in the national library in order to include those people on the closed register. It’s possible that in this process they may have missed out a few people on the closed register.

From time to time, people slip off the electoral register, so if you want to confirm that you are on the electoral register, you can check the copy held in Portobello Library.

2. Are you within Action Porty’s geographic boundary?

When we began to seek to become the first urban community to secure the Community Right to Buy, we were advised by the Government to restrict our geographic area to make getting the necessary support a bit more achievable: both the gathering of the necessary signatures to register the community right to buy (10%), and now majority support in the ballot for the purchase. The map below shows the boundary we are using, which still includes over 5,500 electors. While anyone living outwith this boundary will not get a vote in the ballot, we would stress that they will still be able to make full use of the facilities within a community-owned Bellfield.

3. Have the post office delivered your ballot paper yet?

Over 5,500 letters have been sent through the post, so it is entirely possible that not all ballot letters will arrive at the same time. However, the Electoral Reform Society would expect all letters to be delivered by Thursday at the latest.

If your ballot paper has not arrived by Thursday and you are on the electoral register and within the Action Porty boundary, please contact the Electoral Reform Services on 020 8889 9203

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