NOMINATIONS for the Assembly election on March 2 closed yesterday, with a final line-up of 15 candidates set to compete for five seats in West Tyrone – making it one of the biggest ballot papers in the North.
As expected Sinn Féin lead the field with three candidates – Barry McElduff, Michaela Boyle and Declan McAleer. The other three main Stormont parties are each fielding once candidate, DUP – Thomas Buchanan, SDLP – Daniel McCrossan and UUP – Alicia Clarke.
For the first time, Jim Allister’s TUV party will contest the election in West Tyrone with the defection from the DUP of Charlie Chittick.
Former Sinn Féin councillor Sorcha McAnespy – who topped the local council election poll in 2014 – is standing as an Independent candidate with a campaign focus on the protection of the Sperrins.
Beragh native Roisin McMackin is vying for election, with a promise to tackle an apparent lack of focus on autism and other health services.
Roger Lomas who was eliminated at the first count in the 2016 Assembly election with 44 first preference votes is representing the NI Conservatives. Alliance candidate, Stephen Donnelly, already an election veteran at the age of 21, is hoping to make an improvement from his tally of 494 first preference votes last year.
Ciaran McClean who has been prominent in the campaign against the gold mine plant in Greencastle, is representing the Green Party.
CISTA candidate Barry Brown is using an online crowd-funding service to help pay for his campaign, which he says is much broader than the legalisation of cannabis.
Strabane native Corey French who polled just over 100 votes in 2016 has once again put himself forward for the March 2 election.
And completing the line-up for the ballot paper is Susan Anne White, who grabbed headlines last time around when she published a list of “PC words Christians should not employ”.
Meanwhile, time is running out for those who are not on the electoral register.
Last month it was revealed that 3,472 people have been removed from the register in West Tyrone, 3,014 in Fermanagh South Tyrone and a further 3,145 in Mid Ulster.
The Electoral Office was required by law to remove those names of people who did not return an electoral registration form during the last canvass of electors in 2013.
To register to vote, you must be on the electoral register. The deadline to be eligible to cast your vote on March 2 is Tuesday, February 14. You can download an application form from the Northern Ireland Electoral Commission website.
It must be handed into your nearest electoral office. You nearest office can be found again from the Electoral Office website.
Should you be unable to cast a vote, a postal or proxy voting application can be downloaded here. The deadline to apply is Friday, February 10 (tomorrow).
Any member of the public who wishes to check if they are on the register may do so by calling 0800 4320 712 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: 6:43 pm February 11, 2017