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Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2016: Everything you need to know - when do polling stations open? Where do I go? What do I need to bring?

By Jonny Bell

Published 05/05/2016

Voters take to the polls across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election. Voters cast their vote at Holy Trinity Primary School in West Belfast. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Voters take to the polls across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election. Voters cast their vote at Holy Trinity Primary School in West Belfast. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 05/05/2016 Voters take to the polls across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election. Voters cast their vote at Holy Trinity Primary School n West Belfast. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 05/05/2016 Voters take to the polls across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election. Voters cast their vote at Holy Trinity Primary School n West Belfast. Pictured is West Belfast's Sinn Fein number 1 candidate Pat Sheehan with a young one direction fan. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 05/05/2016 Voters take to the polls across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election. Voters cast their vote at Matt Talbot youth centre in West Belfast. picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Voters take to the polls across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election. Voters cast their vote at a polling station in Moneyrea, Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
DUP Leader, Arlene Foster, arriving at Brookeborough Controlled Primary School to cast her vote in today's Assembly Election.
NI Assembly Elections, Model Primary School Derry Pictured Foyle MP Mark Durkan. Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com
©/Presseye.com - 5th May 2016. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland NI Assembly Elections, Model Primary School Derry Pictured is SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, and Eamon McCann Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com
©/Presseye.com - 5th May 2016. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland NI Assembly Elections Sinn Fein Martin McGuinness, Maeve McLaughlin and Raymond McCartney. Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com
©/Presseye.com - 5th May 2016. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland NI Assembly Elections Sinn Fein Martin McGuinness, Maeve McLaughlin and Raymond McCartney. Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com
©/Presseye.com - 5th May 2016. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland Picture by Presseye.com DUP Leader, Arlene Foster, with friend Rhona McMahon and party collegue Paul Robinson arriving at Brookeborough Controlled Primary School to cast her vote in today's Assembly Election.
©/Presseye.com - 5th May 2016. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland Picture by Presseye.com DUP Leader, Arlene Foster, with party councillor Paul Robinson arriving at Brookeborough Controlled Primary School to cast her vote in today's Assembly Election.
©/Presseye.com - 5th May 2016. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland Picture by Presseye.com DUP Leader, Arlene Foster,arriving with councillor Paul Robinson and friend Rhona McMahon at Brookeborough Controlled Primary School to cast her vote in today's Assembly Election.
©/Presseye.com - 5th May 2016. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland Picture by Presseye.com DUP Leader, Arlene Foster, with councillor Paul Robinson arriving at Brookeborough Controlled Primary School to cast her vote in today's Assembly Election.
©/Presseye.com - 5th May 2016. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland Picture by Presseye.com DUP Leader, Arlene Foster, arriving at Brookeborough Controlled Primary School to cast her vote in today's Assembly Election.
©/Presseye.com - 5th May 2016. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland Picture by Presseye.com DUP Leader, Arlene Foster, speaks to a local resident after arriving at Brookeborough Controlled Primary School to cast her vote in today's Assembly Election.
Colum Eastwood at the Polling Station Derry in the Northern Ireland Assembly Election on Thursday. He was accompanied by his wife Rachael and daughter Rosa. Pacemaker
Sinn Fein candidate Martin McGuinness who voted in the Northern Ireland Assembly Election Polling Station in Derry. Pacemaker
UUP Leader Mike Nesbitt and wife Lynda at Gilnahirk Primary School to make his vote on polling day. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Jim Allister and wife Ruth one of the first to vote at Kells and Conner Primary School, Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2016 Alliance leader David Ford arrives Voters at Donegore Presbyterian Church polling station in Co Antrim to cast their vote. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2016 Voters take to the polls across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election. Voters cast their vote at a polling station in Moneyrea, Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2016 Voters take to the polls across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election. Voters cast their vote at a polling station in Moneyrea, Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 5th May 2016 Voters take to the polls across Northern Ireland as voting begins in the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election. Voters cast their vote at a polling station in Moneyrea, Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Two-hundred-and-seventy-six candidates are battling it out for 108 seats across 18 constituencies in the Northern Ireland Assembly Elections.

Here is everything you need to know for polling day on Thursday:

When do polling stations open?

Stations open across Northern Ireland on Thursday, May 5 at 7am and close at 10pm.

There are 619 stations and 1,380 boxes in total.

Who can vote?

Anyone on the electoral register, is over 18 on the day and is a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen.

Where do I go?

Your polling station will be named on the polling card, which you should have received by now. If you are not sure, or didn't get a polling card you can check the location with the Electoral Office. You don't need a polling card to vote, it is just for information purposes.

What Identification do I need?

276 candidates are battling it out for 108 seats across 18 constituencies in the Northern Ireland Assembly election 2016.
276 candidates are battling it out for 108 seats across 18 constituencies in the Northern Ireland Assembly election 2016.
Belfast East
Belfast East: Andy Allen UUP
Belfast East: Ross Brown, Green Party
Belfast East: Joanne Bunting, DUP
Belfast East: Amy Doherty, SDLP
Belfast East: Sammy Douglas, DUP
East Belfast: Andrew Girvin, TUV
Belfast East: Erskine Holmes, Northern Ireland Labour Representation Committee
Belfast East: Maggie Hutton, Independent
Belfast East: John Kyle, PUP
Belfast East: Jonny Lavery, UKIP
Belfast East: Naomi Long, Alliance
Belfast East: Chris Lyttle, Alliance
East Belfast: Chris McGimpsey, UUP
Belfast East: Tim Morrow, Alliance
Belfast East: Robin Newton, DUP
Belfast East: Niall O Donnghaile, Sinn Fein
Belfast East: Courtney Robinson, Cross-Community Labour Alternative
Belfast East: Neil Wilson, Conservatives
Belfast North
Belfast North: Ken Boyle, UKIP
Belfast North: Paula Bradley, DUP
Belfast North: Tom Burns, Independent
Belfast North: Lesley Carroll, UUP
Belfast North: Geoff Dowey, Northern Ireland First
Belfast North: Fiona Ferguson, People Before Profit Alliance
Belfast North: Fra Hughes, Independent
Belfast North: William Humphrey, DUP
Belfast North: Billy Hutchinson, PUP
Belfast North: Gerry Kelly, Sinn Fein
Belfast North: Nichola Mallon, SDLP
Belfast North: Nuala McAllister, Alliance
Belfast North: Nelson McCausland, DUP
Belfast North: John Miller, TUV
Belfast North: Caral Ni Chuilin, Sinn Fein
Belfast North: Malachai O'Hara, Green Party
Belfast North: Abdo Tabeth, Northern Ireland Labour Representation Committee
Belfast North: Gemma Weir, The Workers Party
Belfast South
Belfast South: Brigitte Anton, Northern Ireland Labour Representation Committee
Belfast South: Clare Bailey, Green Party
Belfast South: Paula Bradshaw, Alliance
Belfast South: Sean Burns, Cross-Community Labour Alternative
Belfast South: Billy Dickson, South Belfast Unionists
Belfast South: Claire Hanna, SDLP
Belfast South: John Andrew Hiddleston, TUV
Belfast South: Lily Kerr, The Workers Party
Belfast South: Emma Little Pengelly, DUP
Belfast South: Ben Manton, Conservatives
Belfast South: Rodney McCune, UUP
Belfast South: Fearghal McKinney, SDLP
Belfast South: Duncan Morrow, Alliance
Belfast South: Mairtin O Muilleoir, Sinn Fein
Belfast South: Ruth Patterson
Belfast South: Ian Shanks, PUP
Belfast South: Christopher Stalford, DUP
Belfast South: Bob Stoker, UKIP
Belfast West
Belfast West: Alex Attwood, SDLP
Belfast West: Conor Campbell, The Workers Party
Belfast West: Gerry Carroll, People Before Profit
Belfast West: Jemima Higgins, Alliance
Belfast West: Gareth Thomas Martin, UUP
Belfast West: Alex Maskey, Sinn Fein
Belfast West: Fra McCann, Sinn Fein
Belfast West: Jennifer McCann, Sinn Fein
Belfast West: Rosie McCorley, Sinn Fein
Belfast West: Frank McCoubrey, DUP
Belfast West: Ellen Murray, Green Party
Belfast West: Pat Sheehan, Sinn Fein
East Antrim
East Antrim: Roy Beggs, UUP
East Antrim: Stewart Clyde Dickson, Alliance
East Antrim: Danny Donnelly, Alliance
East Antrim: David Hilditch, DUP
Ease Antrim: Margaret Anne McKillop, SDLP
East Antrim: Noel Jordan, UKIP
East Antrim: Noel Jordan, DUP
East Antrim: Jim McCaw, PUP
East Antrim: Margaret Anne McKillop, SDLP
East Antrim: Oliver McMullan, Sinn Fein
East Antrim: Maureen Morrow, UUP
East Antrim: Dawn Patterson, Green Party
East Antrim: Alastair Ross, DUP
East Antrim: Conor John Sheridan, Cross-Community Labour Alternative
East Antrim: John Robert Stewart, UUP
East Antrim: Ruth Wilson, TUV
East Londonderry
East Londonderry: Caomihe Archibald, Sinn Fein
East Londonderry: Jordan Armstrong, TUV
East Londonderry: Yvonne Boyle, Alliance
East Londonderry: Maurice Bradley, DUP
East Londonderry: Aaron Callan, UUP
East Londonderry: Stuart Canning, Conservatives
East Londonderry: Tor Christie, Independent
East Londonderry: Amber Hammill, Green Party
East Londonderry: David Harding, Conservatives
East Londonderry: William McCandless, UUP
East Londonderry: Adrian McQuillan, DUP
East Londonderry: Gerry Mullan, SDLP
East Londonderry: Cathal O'hOisin, Sinn Fein
East Londonderry: Steven Parkhill, UKIP
East Londonderry: George Robinson, DUP
East Londonderry: Claire Sugden, Independent
East Londonderry: Russell Watton, PUP
Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Rosemary Barton, UUP
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Kerri Blyberg, Alliance
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Donald Crawford, TUV
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: John Feely, Sinn Fein
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Phil Flanagan, Sinn Fein
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Arlene Foster, DUP
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Fein
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Damian Harris, Northern Ireland Labour Representation Committee
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Tanya Jones, Green Party
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Sean Lynch, Sinn Fein
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Richie McPhillips, SDLP
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Maurice Morrow, DUP
Fermanagh and South Tyrone: Alastair Patterson, UUP
Foyle
Foyle: Kathleen Bradley, Independent
Foyle: Maurice Devenney, Independent
Foyle: Gerard Diver, SDLP
Foyle: Alan Dunlop, Conservatives
Foyle: Mark H Durkan, SDLP
Foyle: Colum Eastwood, SDLP
Foyle: Mary Hassan, Green Party
Foyle: Julie Kee, UUP
Foyle: John Lindsay, Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol
Foyle: Eamonn McCann, People Before Profit
Foyle: Raymond McCartney, Sinn Fein
Foyle: Chris McCaw, Alliance
Foyle: Anne McCloskey, Independent
Foyle: Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein
Foyle: Maeve McLaughlin, Sinn Fein
Foyle: Gary Middleton, DUP
Lagan Valley
Lagan Valley: Dan Barrios-O'Neill, Green Party
Lagan Valley: Robbie Butler, UUP
Lagan Valley: Pat Catney, SDLP
Lagan Valley: Jonathan Craig, DUP
Lagan Valley: Peter Dynes, Northern Ireland Labour Representation Committee
Lagan Valley: Paul Given, DUP
Lagan Valley: Brenda Hale, DUP
Lagan Valley: Brian Higginson, UKIP
Lagan Valley: Jack Irwin, Conservatives
Lagan Valley: Trevor Lunn, Alliance
Lagan Valley: Frazer McCammond, Democracy First
Lagan Valley: Jacqui McGeough, Sinn Fein
Lagan Valley: Jonny Orr
Lagan Valley: Jenny Palmer, Ulster Unionist Party
Lagan Valley: Edwin Poots, DUP
Lagan Valley: Lyle Rea, TUV
Mid Ulster
Mid Ulster: Keith Alexander Buchanan, DUP
Mid Ulster: Alan Day, UKIP
Mid Ulster: Linda Dillon, Sinn Fein
Mid Ulster: Neidin Hendron, Alliance
Mid Ulster: Hannah Loughrin, TUV
Mid Ulster: Ian McCrea, DUP
Mid Ulster: Patsy McGlone, SDLP
Mid Ulster: Ian Milne, Sinn Fein
Mid Ulster: Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein
Mid Ulster: Sandra Overend, UUP
Mid Ulster: Hugh Scullion, The Workers Party
Mid Ulster: Stefan Taylor, Green Party
Newry and Armagh
Newry and Armagh: Paul Berry
Newry and Armagh: Cathal Damian Boylan, Sinn Fein
Newry and Armagh: Emmet Crossan, Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol
Newry and Armagh: Megan Fearon, Sinn Fein
Newry and Armagh: William George Irwin, DUP
Newry and Armagh: Danny Kennedy, UUP
Newry and Armagh: Alan Love, UKIP
Newry and Armagh: Martin McAllister, Independent
Newry and Armagh: Karen McKevitt, SDLP
Newry and Armagh: Justin McNulty, SDLP
Newry and Armagh: Conor Murphy, Sinn Fein
Newry and Armagh: Sam Nicholson, UUP
Newry and Armagh: Michael Watters, Green Party
Newry and Armagh: Craig Weir, Alliance
North Antrim
North Antrim: Jim Allister, TUV
North Antrim: Donna Anderson, UKIP
North Antrim: Jennifer Breslin, Green Party
North Antrim: Connor Duncan, SDLP
North Antrim: Paul Frew, DUP
North Antrim: Timothy Gaston, TUV
North Antrim: Kathryn Johnston, Northern Ireland Labour Representation Committee
North Antrim: Philip Logan, DUP
North Antrim: Stephen McFarland, Alliance
North Antrim: David McIlveen, DUP
North Antrim: Daithi Gerard McKay, Sinn Fein
North Antrim: James Simpson, Conservatives
North Antrim: Mervyn Storey, DUP
North Antrim: Robin Swann, UUP
North Antrim: Andrew Wright, UUP
North Down
North Down: Steven Agnew, Green Party

UK, Irish or EEA driving licence (photographic part) (provisional accepted)

UK, Irish or EU passport

Electoral Identity Card

Translink Senior SmartPass

Translink 60+ SmartPass

Translink War Disabled SmartPass

Translink Blind Person’s SmartPass

Identity documents produced at a polling station are no longer required to be current, as long as the photograph is of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.

How do I vote?

The system used to elect members of the Assembly is by single transferable vote. This means you vote in order of preference. So decide who your number one is and then 2,3,4,5 and so on. You can continue on for as long as you like along the ballot paper and you don't have to put a number by each candidate. A pencil will be provided - this is because a pen could tear the ballot paper. Although you can use your own stationery.

Who do I vote for?

That's for you to decide - and remember you can't discuss who you might vote for, or the merits of each candidate in the polling station. Check out our gallery (above) of all 276 candidates to refresh your memory.

What's at stake?

The next five years of how Northern Ireland will be governed will be determined by this election. Given the push for further devolution of powers - such as corporation tax - the new batch of MLAs will be more powerful than ever before.

Outgoing MLAs by party: DUP 38, Sinn Fein 29, SDLP 14, UUP 13, Alliance 8, TUV 1, Green 1, UKIP 1, NI21 1, Independent 2.

What if I make a mistake voting?

As some constituencies have 18 candidates, you may find yourself making someone higher or lower up the paper than you intend to. This is not a problem as you can request a new ballot paper right up until the point you put it in the box - that is the point of no return.

Can I tweet or take a selfie from inside the polling station?

The Electoral Commission warns against tweeting inside the polling station, even if it's about your own vote. Also it's best not to take any photographs. The ballot is intended to be secret and you could run the risk of inadvertently revealing who someone else may have voted for. Wait until you get outside.

A good idea is to get the turnout for you polling station though and tweet it - when you get outside - using #ae16.

When will I know the results?

The counting process begins at 8am on Friday. Given the system, it takes time to get everyone elected so results are expected to filter in throughout the weekend.

Where can I get the results?

Where else, but right here on the Belfast Telegraph website. We'll have comprehensive coverage throughout the entire process until every MLA is elected. Including analysis and all the political fallout.

Online Editors

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