Three elections will be taking place in Norwich in May – with measures in place to ensure residents feel confident to use their preferred method of voting and steps taken to make the elections as Covid-safe as possible.
In February, the government announced that all elections would go ahead on Thursday 6 May. In Norwich, this means voters will be asked to cast their ballots for the Norwich City Council and Police and Crime Commissioner elections – which should have taken place in May 2020 but were postponed due to the pandemic – as well as the scheduled 2021 Norfolk County Council elections.
The government has said that the polls will run as normally as possible, but with sensible measures put in place to protect against the spread of Covid.
Returning Officer for Norwich City Council, Stephen Evans, said: “Due to last year’s local elections being postponed, in 2021 we are in the unprecedented situation of holding three elections on the same day – Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council, and Police and Crime Commissioner elections – all against the backdrop of Covid.
“But we have a fantastic and experienced team and plans are well underway to ensure they are run as efficiently and as safely as possible for voters, staff and the many other people involved in organising and rolling out elections.”
Polling stations will look different at this May’s elections with safety measures in place for people choosing to cast their vote in person. These include social distancing, sanitised pencils and frequent cleaning of voting booths.
Voters will be asked to wear a face mask inside the polling station, unless exempt, to vote alone where possible, and encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil – should they feel more comfortable doing so.
Some residents will find they have a new polling station this year, so please make sure you check your poll card or check our website which will list the location.
Residents have until Monday 19 April to register to vote in these elections, and Tuesday 20 April to apply for a postal vote. However, residents who have to isolate or shield can nominate a proxy (someone to vote on their behalf) as late as 5pm on polling day – a change to normal procedure.
Stephen Evans continued: “All methods of voting are available at these elections, but I’d encourage anybody who is shielding, or who would prefer not to attend a polling station in person, to apply for a postal or proxy vote ahead of the polls.
“These are important elections, giving residents the opportunity to choose who represents them locally so I urge everyone to get involved and have their say.”
Further information on the May elections can be found at www.norwich.gov.uk/elections2021