Voting turnout across county Mayo was at about 13 percent up till noon time today.
With Ballina coming in at about 15 percent, Castlebar and Foxford 12 % approx, Westport 13 %, Ballyhaunis and Claremorris 12 % approx
Turnout was described as high in the areas of Louisburgh, Lecanvey, Murrisk and Killeen – where the local #voteB4noon campaign got a big response. 40 percent of the electorate had voted in Louisburgh by 12 noon today. The community of the south Clew Bay area wanted to celebrate democracy today and so pushed for an early turnout of voters in an effort to encourage every voter to get out and use their democratic right to make a choice.
Generally the long list of candidates on ballot papers is tending to delays voters at polling stations around the country when they are physically placing completed ballots into boxes at polling stations. The number of candidates listed on ballot papers for the European Parliament elections means voters are casting their preferences on pieces of paper up to 50cm long. Votes that have been folded multiple times are proving somewhat difficult to put into the slots in the ballot boxes.
A similar problem is emerging in some local electoral areas, where there are lots of candidates contesting seats.
Returning Officers have indicated that the segregation of ballot papers tomorrow morning as counts get underway, may also be slower due to the long ballot papers.
In Mayo there are 238 polling stations in operation today to accommodate more than 104,000 voters.
A polling card is not required to exercise your vote, voters with or without polling cards are advised to carry photo ID to the polling station.
Polling stations opened at 7am this morning and will remain open until 10pm tonight.
Mayo County Registrar Fintan Murphy told Midwest News today that there is no need for voters to fret if they arrive at a polling station at 10pm tonight and there is a queue ahead of them, once you are in at 10pm everyone in the line will be accommodated.
Tomorrow the actual counting of votes gets underway in count centres right across the country. Midwest Radio will be covering the counts as they happen right across the region.