Harwich Town Council

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Voters reminded to stay polling day safe

Electors looking to vote in the 6 May polls are being reminded of the measures in place to keep them safe during the pandemic.

Voters have a number of ways to cast their ballot in a way which is Covid-secure.

Polling stations will be open on 6 May and operating in a Covid-secure to ensure everyone has access to voting.

Measures in place will vary from polling station to station, but will include one-way systems, screens and hand sanitising points.

Voters are asked to wear a face covering in polling stations, unless exempt, and to bring their own pen or pencil if possible – though both pencils and masks will be available for those who forget.

Electors should also come prepared for the weather as they may have to queue outside while numbers inside the polling station are limited to ensure social distancing. To help manage the flow, voters are encouraged to avoid the usual peak time of the evening, and are reminded polling stations are open from 7am through until 10pm; quieter times tend to be mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Voters should check their poll card to see where their polling station is, as it may have changed from previous elections.

A temporary polling station will be in place in Coppins Hall, Clacton, following a fire earlier in the year at community centre – meaning voters in that area can still have a local polling place.

People can also appoint a proxy – someone else to go and vote on their behalf. The deadline for this is 5pm on 27 April, though if something happens after then – including if someone has to self-isolate due to Covid-19 – a proxy can be made up until 5pm on polling day.

For those registered for postal votes, to help ensure ballots are returned on time, Royal Mail has a number of Priority Post Boxes with a late collection time – and in some cases additional weekend collections too – and voters can find their nearest priority box at www.royalmail.com/priority-postboxes.

Postal votes for Tendring elections can also be handed into polling stations in the district on 6 May as a last resort.

Ian Davidson, Returning Officer for Tendring, said: “With so many different ways of voting there is every opportunity for those who want to cast their ballot to do so.

“I want to give every reassurance that polling stations will be safe places for people to vote at, and the elections team – along with all of our staff who help to run these – have been working very hard to achieve this.”

To find out more about the measures in place to keep the elections running safely visit www.tendringdc.gov.uk/pollingdaysafe.