Info for Voters
When is the General Election?
The General Election is on Thursday 23rd September 2021.
How often do we have a General Election?
Every five years.
Who are we voting for?
24 members of the House of Keys.
Each constituency elects two Members of the House of Keys or MHKs.
There are 24 MHKs across 12 constituencies.
How do I know who to vote for?
Typically candidates will try and see as many voters in their constituency ahead of the General Election as they can. They may also send you a copy of their manifesto outlining their main priorities.
In addition Manx Radio is inviting all candidates to take part in individual interviews.
You can find the interviews we have done so far here.
In September, Manx Radio will be holding Constituency Debate programmes in each of the 12 constituencies, and every candidate in each area will be invited to take part.
Government is also holding a number of pre-election meetings, giving you the chance to question candidates, and the dates are detailed below.
Why should I vote?
Voting is a democratic right offered to people over the age of 16 in the Isle of Man.
The people we vote into the House of Keys make decisions which affect our daily lives, so by choosing to vote you can have a say in the future of the Isle of Man.
Members of the House of Keys, or MHKs, make policy, pass laws and regulations and debate matters of national importance. They decide how public money is spent, money that comes from you through taxation.
If candidates are standing for re-election, it’s a chance for you to hold them to account for how they’ve performed since they were elected.
The General Election is a chance for you to have a say about issues that matter to you.
Here's a government video about why younger voters should head to the polls:
Who can vote?
You can vote in the Isle of Man’s General Election if you have reached the age of 16 and have lived in the Isle of Man for the past 12 months, and are not subject to any legal incapacity to vote. You can still vote if you’re away at university as long as you are registered at your Manx address.
Can I vote for the Chief Minister?
Not directly no. That decision is made by the House of Keys after the General Election. The Chief Minister will hold office until the next General Election. They may be removed from office by the House of Keys on a vote of no confidence.
Once the Chief Minister has been elected by the House of Keys, they will appoint ministers for each department including Health, Education and Treasury. For more information about government departments click here.
There have been moves to force those intending to stand for Chief Minister to declare their intention before the General Election, but these have not been successful.
How do I make sure I can vote in the General Election?
You must be registered to vote. You can check if you’re registered by looking at the full electoral registers at any of these places:
- General Registry (IOM Courts of Justice, Deemsters' Walk, Douglas)
- Crown and Elections Unit (Cabinet Office, 3rd Floor, Government Office, Bucks Road, Douglas)
- Tynwald Library (Legislative Buildings, Finch Road, Douglas)
This year you can also apply for a postal vote or apply to appoint a proxy which means someone else will vote on your behalf.
Election registration translations:
Information about registering to vote has been translated into Bulgarian, Chinese, Manx and Polish.
Postal voting deadlines:
The closing date for the receipt of postal voting applications is:
- If the postal ballot paper is to be marked within the Isle of Man - 15th September
- If the postal ballot paper is to be marked within the British Isles, but outside the Isle of Man - 9th September
- If the postal ballot paper is to be marked overseas (outside the IOM and the British Isles) 31st August
The dates are based on recommendations provided by the Isle of Man Post Office
Postal ballots completed by electors must be sent back to the Returning Office for the Constituency by 5pm on 22nd September.
If someone applies for a postal vote but doesn't mail it back in time, they can hand deliver it to a polling station in their constituency between 8am and 8pm on polling day - 23rd September.
What happens on polling day?
On polling day, Thursday September 23rd, if you are voting in person, you go to your designated polling station which will be detailed on your polling card which will be sent to you by post in the week before the election.
It’s a good idea to take your polling card along to your polling station when you go to vote.
You can find out exactly where your polling station is by putting your postcode in here
You can find a full list of the polling stations for each constituency here.
The polls are open from 8am until 8pm.
What happens if I'm in isolation on polling day?
In July's Local Authority elections, it's thought around 300 people weren't able to vote because they were unexpectedly having to isolate after contracting Covid-19.
The Crown and Elections Office wants to avoid anyone being disenfranchised by not being able to vote in the General Election.
They've already put in place a series of measures to try and stop it happening again.
Frank Carolan heads up the team and has been telling us what options are available to voters:
For more information about proxy voting and postal votes, click here.
How many people do I vote for?
All constituencies in the Isle of Man are two seat constituencies. This means each constituency will return the two candidates who get the most votes.
When you cast your vote, you are able to vote for your two preferred candidates. You don’t have to vote for two candidates, you might only want to choose one.
Voting for more than two will mean your ballot paper is invalid and will be counted as a spoilt paper.
How many constituencies are there?
There are 12 two seat constituencies in the Isle of Man making up the 24 seats of the House of Keys.
Where’s my constituency?
You can use this handy tool to find out which constituency you’re in just by entering your postcode.
How do I find out the election result?
Manx Radio will be broadcasting live from each count as the results are declared on Thursday 23rd.
There will also be comprehensive coverage online and on our social media channels.
Manx Radio’s Election programme will start at 6pm and continue until all the results are declared.
For things to consider about voting click here
For general guidance about voting click here
For guidance for young voters click here