Author: BBC News - www.bbc.co.uk/news
Published on 05 May 2011 06:30 AM
Voters go to the polls today to elect 108 new members of the Stormont Assembly and 582 new councillors.
People are also being asked to give their view on whether there should be a change in the way Westminster MPs are elected.
More than 1,200,000 people are registered to vote in Northern Ireland. Polling stations open at 0700 BST morning and close at 2200 BST.
A senior police officer said there will be an increased security presence.
Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie said this was to ensure there was no interference in the electoral process.
When you arrive at the polling station you will need proof of identity in order to vote.
Acceptable forms of ID include a UK, Irish or EU passport, a photographic Northern Ireland, Great Britain or European driving licence, an Electoral Identity card or one of the Translink Smartpass's issued to senior citizens, the blind or those with a war disability.
Once you have proven your identity, you will be given three ballot papers.
There is a white paper for the assembly election and a brown one for the council poll.
The white ballot paper is for the assembly election and the brown one is for the council poll You should mark these papers with 1, 2, 3 and so on in order of your preference. You will also get a third light grey paper for the Westminster referendum.
This will ask whether you support changing the way MPs are elected from the current first past the post system to the Alternative Vote system.
Mark this paper with an X to say either yes or no to the change.