Polling stations will be a little different

29th April 2021, 8:58pm | By richardrogers |

There’s just a week to go until elections day, and a number of measures will be in place to help keep people safe on 6 May – and Wiltshire Council is urging the electorate to make sure they bring a mask, and a pen or pencil to cast their vote.

On 6 May, the Wiltshire Council unitary, town and parish, and Police and Crime Commissioner elections take place – there are also a number of neighbourhood plan referendums on the same day.

Each of the county’s 348 polling stations will have measures in place to ensure they are COVID-secure. The location of people’s local polling station can be found on the council’s website, or printed on their polling card. People are advised to double check their local polling station before they set off, as it could be a different venue to previous elections.

The measures in place to keep the elections as safe as possible include:

  • Staff at the polling stations to help support people to adhere to the measures
  • People are being urged to bring their own pen or pencil to vote (a small supply will be available at each polling station should they forget)
  • Unless exempt, people need to wear a mask inside the polling station
  • A one-way system will be in place
  • Hand sanitiser available on site
  • Screens at the check-in desk
  • Socially distancing required
  • Regular cleaning by staff of surfaces and touch points

Due to social distancing reasons, people may be have to queue outside the polling station depending on how busy it is, everyone’s patience is really appreciated. With that in mind, people should also ensure they are prepared for whatever weather there may be on election day.

The council has produced a short video to give people a good understanding of what they can expect when they turn up at the polling stations on 6 May. It can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9Gr-8LXN2I.

Those who have applied to vote by post are asked to post the postal packs back as soon as possible after they have received them. They need to arrive by 10pm on 6 May, so if anyone feels they might not make it by that date via the post, then they are able to hand deliver them to their local polling station (which is stated on their poll card) or County Hall in Trowbridge.

Terence Herbert, Wiltshire Council Chief Executive, and Returning Officer for Wiltshire, said: “The safety of the public and everyone involved in these elections has been right at the heart of all our planning. The elections will feel a little different this time, understandably, but the measures we have in place should be fairly familiar to those who have visited shops and other venues during the pandemic.

“We’ll have staff at each centre to support people as much as possible. My main advice is to please don’t forget your mask and pen or pencil before you head out.

“People might be feeling a little anxious about visiting a polling station, particularly if they haven’t been out a lot in recent months, but we’ve done everything we can to keep the venues as safe and as comfortable as possible for everyone.”

More information about the elections can be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/elections-2021.

 

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