All systems go to get polling booths ready across Galway

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Around 110 thousand voters from across Galway are expected to take to the polls tomorrow for local and European elections.

There are 39 seats up for grabs in the county; a further 18 in the city; while 4 seats are up for grabs in the Midlands/North-West constituency for the EU parliament.

Voters will also be asked to have their say on proposals to change the legislation currently regulating divorce law in Ireland.

The total electorate for Galway is just shy of 190 thousand; 141 thousand of those are registered in the county, while another 49 thousand make up the city register.

With a predicted turnout of somewhere close to 60 percent, it’s expected around 110 thousand people will have their say in tomorrow’s elections.

However, as per tradition, Galway’s islanders have been casting their votes one day early, since this morning – perhaps for the last time, as a bill has been passed to allow them to go to the polls at the same time as everyone else.

Voting has been broadly described as sluggish on the Aran Islands – particularly on Inis Meain, as many residents were in the city today to attend the funeral of an island native. It’s reported to be a little brisker on Inishbofin.

So, when you go to vote tomorrow you will be handed a white paper for the European referendum, a green paper for the divorce amendments referendum and the colour of your third paper will depend on which local electoral area you are in.

Therefore, in the county there are 7 different coloured papers, one for each electoral area while in the city, where there are three areas there are 3 different coloured papers.

Now, looking at the overall picture, there are no radical shake-ups expected in the city local authority this weekend, but there is far more scope for fresh blood in the next traunche of County Councillors.

There are 7 seats in the Athenry/Oranmore district, which will be contested by 14 candidates, 3 of which are sitting councillors.

In Ballinasloe, 12 candidates – 5 of them sitting councillors – will be fighting to claim one of 6 seats.

There are 5 seats on offer in Gort/Kinvara, which will be contested by 11 candidates, 3 of which are incumbents.

In Loughrea, 9 candidates will be hoping to take one of 5 seats – including 4 sitting councillors.

Moving north, and 14 candidates will contest 7 seats in Tuam – including six incumbent councillors.

Further west, where the new electoral constituency of Connemara North has just 4 seats on offer, to be contested by 7 candidates, 4 of whom currently hold office.

While Connemara South will see 11 candidates clash over 5 seats, with just 2 incumbent councillors.

In the city, 16 candidates will be competing for 6 seats in the Central Ward; among them are 5 sitting councillors.

In the City East Ward, fierce competition is expected with 6 seats, 6 sitting councillors, and 16 candidates.

While in the City West Ward, there are 6 seats to be won by 15 candidates, including 5 imcumbents.

Voters will also be taking to the polls tomorrow to elect MEP’s for this region; the Midlands/North-West.

There are 4 seats on offer at the European Parliament to be divided among 17 candidates – including 3 sitting MEPs.

Meanwhile, voters will also have their say tomorrow in the divorce referendum, which is about proposed changes to current legislation.

It addresses two issues – how long people must be living apart before applying for a divorce, and recognition of foreign divorces.

First official results from the city council count in Westside and the county council count in the Lawn Tennis Club are expected to arrive late on Saturday and into Sunday; while the first results of the EU elections from the count centre in Castlebar are expected late on Sunday.

However, as always, the unofficial tallies will draw a picture from as soon as the ballot papers are being sorted on Saturday morning in Leisureland.

Galway Bay fm news will bring you live and comprehensive coverage of the election results from 10 on Saturday morning, right until the very last seat is filled, day or night.