Chloe Smith, the minister for the constitution, confirmed last week that the local elections in England will be going ahead as planned on 6 May. The government’s aim is that all over-50s and “at risk” people will have had their first vaccination by then, and polling stations will be “Covid secure” – which includes asking voters to bring their own pen or pencil. No stubby pencils on string this year.
In addition, all voters can request a postal vote, and for those who become ill or test positive in the days before voting, the rules on proxy voting are being changed. If you have to isolate, you will be allowed to nominate someone to vote for you up until 5pm on polling day.
Smith said: “We are publishing a detailed plan to deliver May’s elections in a safe and secure way. This is backed up by additional funding for councils, and practical changes to electoral laws to help both voters and candidates. Democracy should not be cancelled because of Covid.”
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