News story

Welsh language to be used in local election ballot papers

Welsh language changes will improve the clarity of ballot papers used by voters.


Ballot papers used in polls across Wales will have details of the election written in both Welsh and English in this May’s elections.

The measures have been introduced by UK Government Minister Chris Skidmore. The Electoral Commission will now be able to issue guidance to electoral administrators on ensuring that the heading on the ballot papers includes a Welsh translation.

Previously ballot papers included voting instructions in both languages but details of the election at the top of the ballot were only written in English. The changes will end the inconsistency and be in place for this May’s Local Authority and Community Council elections in Wales.

Minister for the Constitution, Chris Skidmore, said:

Making the voting experience consistent and fair is vital if we are to have a democracy that works for everyone. That is why these changes were important to make and will improve the clarity of the ballot papers used by voters across Wales.

Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, said:

The Welsh language changes being introduced will improve the clarity of ballot papers used by voters. It was particularly important this update came into force ahead of May when voters go to the polls to pick hundreds of local authority and community councillors.

As a Welsh language speaker, I am determined that our language is supported and promoted in every aspect of our life. The new ballot forms are a welcome demonstration of that commitment.

Published 10 February 2017