Counting at the local elections in Laois.
The starting gun has been officially fired on the 2019 local elections in Laois.
Details of what candidates need to do to run are included in the Notice of Election published on Tuesday, April 16, by the new Returning Officer Donal Brennan, a Director of Services in Laois County Council.
In the notice of election published Mr Brennan says nomination papers are now available. It says local election candidates in the county's municipal districts have until Saturday, May 4 to put their names in the hat to guarantee before the people in May.
A person may nominate himself or herself as a candidate or, may, with their consent, be nominated by a proposer who is a registered voter in the electoral area in which the candidate wishes to stand.
A nomination paper from a candidate of a registered political party must have a certificate of political affiliation attached and must be presented to the returning officer with the completed nomination paper.
If no certificate is attached, the candidate must get 15 nominations from voters in the area in which he or she intends to stand. A €100 deposit must also be made on the candidate's behalf.
Completed nomination papers may be delivered to the Returning Officer in person by the candidate or the proposer during office hours from 10 am on Saturday, April 27 until 12 noon on the last day for receiving nominations which is Saturday, May 4.
Under the law, the Returning Officer is required to receive nominations between 10 am and 12 noon and between 2pm and 5pm on May 3 and between 10 am and 12 noon on May 4.
Voting takes place on Friday, May 24 between the hours of 7 am and 10 pm.
There are 19 seats up for grabs on Laois County Council. The county is split into three electoral areas. The Portlaoise Municipal District is represented by seven councillors while there are six councillors in each of the Graiguecullen / Portarlington area and Borris-in-Ossory / Mountmellick electoral area.