Tamworth residents are being encouraged to consider voting by post this year as part of plans to run a safe election in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, May 6, residents in the borough will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at Tamworth Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council and as the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire.
These elections are being run in tandem this spring, so Tamworth Borough Council is already making plans to help you stay safe while casting your vote.
There are a number of ways to have your say in the elections in May – you can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, which is known as a proxy vote. Voting by post means you don’t have to visit a polling station at all.
You may not be registered to vote if you are voting for the first time, have recently moved house or have never registered for any other reason. The good news is the process takes just five minutes and all you need is your National Insurance number.
Anyone not registered has until Monday, April 19, to ensure their voice can be heard at the polls. Register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
More information about the Electoral Register, what it is used for and other frequently asked questions is available here www.tamworth.gov.uk/registering-vote-faq.
Anyone who is already registered to vote has until 5pm on Tuesday, April 20, to apply for a postal vote. Anyone who misses this deadline may be able to apply to vote by proxy. The deadline for applying for a proxy vote is 5pm on Tuesday, April 27, except for in a medical emergency.
Applications for postal and proxy votes can be made via Tamworth Borough Council’s website at www.tamworth.gov.uk/elections-2021. More information is also available from the Elections Office on 01827 214155.
In Tamworth, one councillor from each ward will be up for election – which means 10 out of the 30 seats will be contested. For more information on Tamworth councillors, please visit www.tamworth.gov.uk/councillors .
Andrew Barratt, Returning Officer and Chief Executive for Tamworth Borough Council, said: “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 Tamworth.
“As well as choosing borough councillors, voters will also be asked who they want to represent them on behalf of Staffordshire County Council and who they think should be the Staffordshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
“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.”
“Voting by post means you don’t have to attend the polling station at all. Hopefully we’ll be in a much better position regarding the pandemic by then, but if you have any concerns at all, you may prefer a vote by post. The process is completely safe and secure.
“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.”