Formal process for registering voters and candidates gets underway
THE formal process of registering voters and candidates for the upcoming Assembly election has gotten underway, with deadlines also in place for the return of postal votes.
Although most parties have started selecting candidates, official nominations will not begin until the day after the Assembly is dissolved next week.
Candidates can register their nominations from 10am on Friday January 27 until 1pm on Wednesday February 8.
On Tuesday, the Electoral Office confirmed that more than 60,000 voters have been removed from the electoral register since the last Assembly election.
Anyone who did not return a registration form during the last canvassing of households was automatically removed from the register.
In order to be able to vote, those affected must complete and return a form by 5pm on Tuesday February 14.
Those who are registered but will be unable to vote in person on March 2 are asked to return a postal or proxy vote by 5pm on Friday February 10, with the deadline for late votes fixed for 5pm on Wednesday February 22.
A spending limit of £306,000 applies to each party contesting the election campaign and parties must provide statements to the Electoral Commission after the vote.
The Electoral Office has said it will be launching a public awareness campaign and is encouraging those not on the register to contact 0800 4320 712 or to visit their local office.