Safety a priority as local elections confirmed
12 Feb 2021
Northumberland County Council is encouraging voters to register for postal voting after the Government confirmed elections will go ahead on May 6.
Preparations are well underway to enable the County, Town and Parish Councils and Police and Crime Commissioner elections to go ahead safely in a way which is COVID-secure for voters and staff.
The council has sent everyone on the electoral register that is not currently registered to receive a postal ballot paper, a letter inviting them to apply for a postal vote.
For those who opt to vote in person, the experience will be very different this year.
Voters will be asked to bring their own pens or pencils to fill in their ballot papers and it will be compulsory to wear face coverings in polling stations unless they can provide a medical exemption.
Hand sanitisers, divider screens at polling desks and social distancing markers will also be in place at polling stations to keep voters safe.
Kelly Angus, deputy chief executive and the Council’s Returning officer said the safety of voters was an absolute priority.
Kelly said: “Voting by post saves a trip to the polling station and can be particularly helpful for those who may struggle, those living in a remote rural area and for those who may be working, or away on polling day.
“It also offers a safe and secure method of voting, which is particularly important at this time due to Coronavirus.
“For those who choose to vote in person, they can expect to see many of the measures they’ve become used to in shops and banks over recent months, such as sanitising, floor markings and face coverings.
“Whichever way works for them it is really important that everyone makes their voice heard.
“I would urge anyone who has concerns about voting in polling stations to look out for the letter, and register for the postal vote as thousands of people in the county already do.”