Richmond Council staff are working hard to ensure that polling stations are COVID secure when people go to the polls on 6 May to have their say in elections for the Mayor of London, London Assembly and Hampton Wick by-election.
Voters attending polling stations on Thursday can expect many of the measures they’ve become used to in shops and banks in the past year, such as hand sanitiser at the entrance, floor markings and the wearing of face masks. Each polling station has been assessed and will have safety systems in place that are specific to that location, so some staff may be behind protective screens or there may be a one-way system, meaning people should be prepared to follow the signage and any instructions.
Voters will also see queuing systems in place to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed and people are being reminded they may need to be patient at busy times. Polling booths will be cleaned very regularly throughout the day and voters are also being encouraged to bring their own pencil or pen. If not, clean pencils that have been sanitised between uses will be provided.
In addition, an online tool has been launched to help Londoners locate their polling stations.
The interactive Polling Station Finder, produced in conjunction with the Democracy Club and available at LondonElects.org.uk, uses electoral register information to identify the specific polling station each voter should visit to cast their votes.
To use the tool, Londoners can go to the ‘Voter’ section of the website, select ‘Ways of voting’ and input their postcodes into the Polling Station Finder search box. The Polling Station Finder will then produce the address of their allocated polling station and show its proximity to their home on an interactive map.
On 6 May, Londoners can only vote at the polling station which has been assigned to them
Mike Gravatt, Borough Returning Officer for the GLA election, said:
“This election will be very different to usual due to the current pandemic. The safety of voters and our polling station staff is paramount so we are doing everything we can to ensure people stay safe in our polling stations.
“It is important that everyone has their say on who represents them, so we have been planning for some time to make sure that people can vote safely.”
The Polling Station Finder is available at: https://www.londonelects.org.uk/im-voter/find-my-nearest-polling-station.
How to vote in the Mayor of London / London Assembly elections:
- In this election, there are three ballot papers and four votes.
- Two votes for the Assembly elections and a first and second choice for the Mayoral election.
- You must make a first choice for the Mayor, or your vote won’t be counted. Each vote must be for a different candidate.
- Your polling station will be open from 7am until 10pm on election day.
- Before 6 May, you will receive your polling card through your door. This will include details of your named polling station.
- You can also vote by proxy. This is when a person you trust votes for your chosen candidates on your behalf if you are unable to make it to the polling station. If you want a proxy vote, your council must receive your application by 5pm on 27 April 2021. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote as a result of an emergency is 5pm, Thursday 6 May 2021.
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