Polling stations to be ‘Covid secure’ for May local elections

Swanage voters are being reassured that safety measures are being put in place to allow local elections to go ahead in 2021. 

Local elections across the country were due to take place in May 2020, but were postponed by a year because of the pandemic.

While Swanage Town Council and Dorset Council are not up for election this time, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election is set for this year.

It is now scheduled for Thursday 6th May 2021. Martyn Underhill, the current PCC, is not seeking re-election.

PCCs are officials elected by the public to oversee local policing. The new role was first introduced in 2012.

Police car close up in Swanage
Purbeck Police

Postal and proxy voting

While many residents will still want to attend their local polling booth as usual, those concerned about the virus may wish to vote by post or proxy.

If you get a postal vote, you will receive your ballot paper in the mail to your registered address, where you can fill it in and post it back to be counted.

With a proxy vote, you nominate someone to turn up at the polling station to cast your vote on your behalf.

To claim either a postal or proxy vote, you must complete an application form, which can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website.

A safe election

Jonathan Mair, Corporate Director – Legal & Democratic, Dorset Council said: 

“We’re thinking about these elections now so that, however you choose to cast your vote, you can do so safely.

“We’re putting arrangements in place to help you stay safe at the polling station; you can expect many of the measures you’ve become used to in shops and banks over recent months, such as hand sanitiser, floor markings and face masks. But you also have the option to apply to vote by post or by proxy.

“Legislation is in place for the elections to go ahead this May, and we will continue to work closely with the Electoral Commission to ensure everyone will be able to cast their vote safely and securely, in a way that suits them. This is being kept under review and any changes will be publicised.”

Register to vote

If you are not already registered to vote, you can fill out a quick online form or print off and fill out a paper version.

If you wish to get a postal or proxy vote, you can find the forms here and here.

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