Elections for West Sussex County Council, Police and Crime Commissioner and some local by-elections will take place on 6 May 2021, and due to the pandemic, arrangements need to be different. To ensure you can use your vote in the elections this spring, you may want to consider opting for a postal vote.
We wrote to all households a few weeks ago to let residents know the work we are doing to ensure that we make the election process as safe as possible and that included changes to some of our polling stations.
We need to make sure that all polling stations are Covid-compliant and safe for voters which means your polling station may have changed from its normal venue. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but having carried out risk assessments we have chosen venues that we feel will work best for these elections.
We are putting in place sensible safety measures at the polling stations that will be open, including cleaning, socially distanced queuing systems, face coverings being worn and hand sanitiser on site. We will also be able to send you an electronic poll card so that you don’t have to bring your paper copy, you can show this on your device. The NHS QR code will be there for scanning as part of the Test and Trace programme and booths will be cleaned between each voter, and voters are encouraged to bring their own pencil or pen. If not, those provided will be sanitised between uses.
We know some of our residents may not find it as easy to get to their designated polling stations and we would ask them to consider applying for a postal vote on this instance or voting by proxy.
Nigel Lynn, Deputy County Returning Officer and Chief Executive of Arun District Council said; “Keeping our residents and staff safe during these uncertain times, while delivering a successful election is vital and we need our residents to help us do this. We know that changing the polling stations people are used to going to is not ideal but delivering an election during a pandemic brings us challenges that we must tackle. Voters opting for a postal or proxy vote, reducing footfall through polling stations, is one way we can help to limit the risk factors. If residents are planning to opt for a postal or proxy vote, please apply as soon as possible rather than wait until the deadline. This will help us to manage the process as efficiently as possible.”
To download a postal or proxy form please visit www.arun.gov.uk/elections or for more information call our helpline on 01903 737616. Postal and proxy votes can be temporary, for these elections only.
There are some important dates to note for this election. Register to vote by Monday 19 April – if you have been included in the recent household notification letter then you don’t need to re-register. Apply for a new or cancel a current postal vote by 5pm on Tuesday 20 April. Apply for a new or cancel a current proxy vote by 5pm on Tuesday 27 April.