How To Vote
The Scottish Parliamentary elections use the Additional Member System (AMS) method of voting. For this, you will receive two ballot papers.
The constituency vote (Coloured lilac)
Your first ballot paper will look something like this:
The candidates standing in your constituency will be listed in alphabetical order by surname. You can only vote for one candidate, by placing an X in the box next to their name.
The candidate who receives the most votes in this ballot will become the MSP for your constituency. If there is a tie then a candidate is selected by the drawing of lots (a method of selection by chance, such as tossing a coin or picking a name out of a hat).
There are 73 constituency seats in Scotland.
The regional vote (coloured peach)
Your second ballot paper will look a little like this:
Every party standing in Mid Scotland and Fife will be listed in alphabetical order. You can only vote for one party, by placing an X in the box next to it. Seven MSPs will be elected in total to represent the region.
The regional MSPs are chosen using a formula (the total number of regional votes received by a party, divided by the number of constituency and regional seats they've already gained in that region, plus one). The party with the highest result after that formula is calculated gains an extra seat.
This is repeated until all 56 regional seats are allocated.
Each party's regional list ranks candidates in the order that they will be selected - for example, if a party gains 3 regional seats, they will be given to the first 3 names on that list. The higher up the list a candidate is ranked, the higher their chance of election.
Some MSPs are listed on both the constituency and regional ballots. If a candidate is chosen as a constituency MSP, their name is removed from the regional list.