Postal voting packs for the four contested constituencies in the Crofting Commission elections have been issued to electors. 

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Election Office spokesperson, Mairi Sine Macdonald said:  “I would urge Postal Voters to take the time to read the guidance enclosed and ensure that they have completed the ballot paper according to the instructions. Completed ballot papers must be returned in the reply paid envelope provided by 4.00pm on Thursday 16 March 2017."

Issued on behalf of the Returning Officer, Council Offices, Sandwick Road, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2BW.

Elections are being held in the East Highlands, South West Highlands, West Highlands and Western Isles Constituencies.

There are around 16,000 crofters in Scotland, and 33,000 people living in crofting households. The average age for crofters is 59, but 12% are under 40. Some 34% are female.

More than 80% of crofts are in the Highlands and Eilean Siar (Western Isles). The remainder are on Shetland, Orkney Islands and Argyll and Bute. Crofts account for about a quarter of land area in the highlands and islands.

A public consultation on the regulations for the election took place from 18 March to 22 June 2016. These covered: the process of appointing a new Commissioner, should a vacancy arise before 2022; who can stand for election; absent and proxy votes; and the maximum amount and process for election expenses.

Commissioners work four and a half days per month and currently receive a daily rate of £161.29. Expenses are paid for travel.