Voting safely at this year’s elections
12 April 2021
On Thursday 6 May 2021 residents in North Devon and Torridge will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at the Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
Voters have a range of options for casting their ballot: in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place (known as a proxy vote).
The deadline to register to vote for the May 2021 elections is midnight on Monday 19 April. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 20 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 27 April.
For those who choose to vote in person, safety measures will be implemented to make polling stations safe places to cast your vote on 6 May.
Voters are encouraged to keep themselves and others safe by:
- wearing a face covering
- bringing their own pen or pencil
- cleaning their hands when entering and leaving the polling station
- keeping a safe distance
Voters should not attend the polling station if they have symptoms of COVID-19, or if they have been asked to self-isolate. There will be measures in place to apply for an emergency proxy vote if required due to health circumstances.
Judith Dark, Electoral Services Manager at North Devon Council, says: “The elections this year are very important – they’re an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in North Devon.
“We’re thinking about these elections now so that, however you choose to cast your vote in May, 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.”
Tom Vanstone - Senior Electoral and Democratic Services Officer at Torridge says: “Making sure you’re registered to vote is important so you can have your say in this and all future elections. Being on the electoral register may also help if you want to apply for financial products or even things like a mobile phone contract. Options for voting have expanded over the years with many people finding the convenience and simplicity of postal voting an appealing alternative to attending a polling station. Whichever way you decide to vote make sure you don’t miss out and apply before the deadlines stated.”
Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission says: “The choice on how to vote at next May’s elections is yours – you can have your say in person, by post or by proxy.
“If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly. It’s easy to apply and you can find out how by visiting the Electoral Commission website.
“You need to be registered to vote in order to have a say at the elections – the easiest way to register is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.”
Residents can visit the FAQ page on the council's website to find out more about the elections on 6 May 2021. The page will be updated with new information as it becomes available.