26/04/21: Voting safely in the May elections
Breckland Council is currently preparing local polling stations for the upcoming May elections, including putting in place measures which will ensure people can vote safely. The council is now calling on prospective voters to make sure they're ready for election day, by checking they know where and when they can vote and how they can help play a part in avoiding the spread of coronavirus.
There is now less than two weeks until Breckland residents head to their local polling station to vote for the next Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Norfolk County Council representatives, and in some cases members of their parish council.
Election day is 6 May and this year there will be a number of precautions in place to ensure polling stations are covid-secure. Some of these measures will be familiar to voters, such as the introduction of social distancing markers, regular cleaning of touch points, protective screens and hand sanitiser stations.
However, voters are also being encouraged to play their part this year by bringing their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot box. As with all indoor public spaces, it will be mandatory to wear a face covering while inside the polling station, unless you have a valid exemption.
With these measures in mind, people are also being forewarned that casting their vote may take a little longer this year and there may be queues at some polling stations. As with previous elections, polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on polling day and voters are being advised to leave extra time to vote this year.
People are also being urged to check their polling station location, which can be found on their polling card received in the post. Most polling stations are unchanged, but some sites are different for this election. It isn't essential to bring a polling card to the polling station, however bringing along can save time.
To find your local polling station visit the Where Do I Vote? website.
As the elections are taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has introduced emergency proxy votes for those self-isolating due to COVID-19. Applications for someone to vote on your behalf, via an emergency proxy vote, can be made up until 5pm on May 6. For more information, visit the Electoral Commission website.
Returning Officer for Breckland Council, Maxine O'Mahony said: "As we approach the elections, we want to reassure you we're taking a number of steps to ensure all our polling stations are safe places to vote.
"If you're voting in person, please be aware things may take longer and queues are likely as we adapt our voting process to the COVID-19 restrictions. I'd encourage everyone to leave enough time to vote and make sure your voice is heard this May."
Last updated: 26/04/2021 10:52:05