On Thursday, May 6, residents in Thanet will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at Kent County Council and also in by-elections for three Thanet district seats and one town council seat. Polls will also be open for Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and the Broadstairs Neighbourhood Plan referendum.
Voters have a range of options for casting their ballots – in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote on their behalf, known as a proxy vote. 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, there will be COVID safe polling stations on 6 May.
Ensuring you can vote safely
Following Public Health England and Electoral Commission guidance, polling staff:
- Are wearing a facemask.
- Are behind screens.
- Wiping down surfaces in the polling booths and on the ballot boxes between voters.
- Limiting the number of voters who can enter a polling station at one time.
- Where possible ensuring that a one way system is in place and clearly marked.
- Asking voters to bring their own pen.
- Providing hand sanitiser for voters.
Social distancing requirements mean polling stations will operate differently and it may take longer to vote.
- Polling station staff will not take poll cards from electors.
- You may need to wait in a queue at busy times.
- Small stations will be operating one in, one out and you may have to wait until you are asked to go in.
What will I need to do to vote safely?
- Wear a facemask unless you’re exempt.
- Use hand sanitiser before you enter the polling station.
- Bring your own pen or pencil to mark your ballot paper.
- Use any one way system in place.
- Make sure you keep to social distancing measures in and around the polling station.
Madeline Homer, Electoral Returning Officer for Thanet District Council said: “It’s important to make sure your voice is heard at the elections in May and have a say on who represents you on issues that affect day-to-day life here in Thanet.
“You can vote either at a polling station, by post or by proxy. If you chose to vote in person, we are putting measures in place to help you cast your vote safely.
“We have all become accustomed to many of the COVID-safety measures to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission over recent months and we would urge everyone to do the right thing: wear a face covering, use hand sanitiser, respect social distancing and bring a pen.
“We hope that everyone will understand that these actions are necessary to ensure the safety of voters and staff.”
There are government measures in place so anyone who needs to self-isolate with Coronavirus at short notice on or around polling day will still be able to vote with an emergency proxy vote. Those registered to vote can request this up to 5pm on 6 May 2021.
What elections are taking place?
- Police & Crime Commissioner Election
- Kent County Council Election
- Newington Ward By Election
- Dane Valley By Election
- Central Harbour Ward By Election
- Broadstairs Neighbourhood Plan Referendum
- Ramsgate Town Council Central Harbour By Election
Candidate overviews will be published on The Isle of Thanet News later today (April 9)