All you need to know ahead of election day in Northumberland
Preparations are being finalised to ensure that voting is safe for local government and Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
On election day, Thursday May 6, 227 polling stations will be open across every corner of the county and polls will be open as usual from 7am to 10pm.
Voting in person will be different this year with polling stations following the covid secure rules seen across shops and other indoor locations during the pandemic.
This will include voters wearing masks, using hand sanitiser, social distancing and staff making sure items touched in the polling booths are cleaned.
Staff will also be taking the necessary precautions to keep safe and have received additional training to help advise and support voters.
Voters are encouraged to bring their own masks and pen or pencil on the day to reduce wastage, however, for those that need them they will be available.
Some polling stations have had to change due to previous locations being unsuitable during the pandemic and so voters are being asked to check their poll cards to make sure they know where their polling station is.
Those who find themselves self-isolating or with possible coronavirus symptoms must not visit a polling station.
This year an emergency proxy vote has been introduced where you can get someone you know and trust to vote on your behalf. This vote can be accessed up to 5pm on polling day by filling out the form at https://nland.uk/proxyvote and emailing it to [email protected]
Kelly Angus, returning officer and deputy chief executive of Northumberland County Council, said: “Our priority is that people will be able to exercise their democratic right to vote in a safe environment and we are taking all the steps needed to make sure voters feel safe and comfortable voting in person.
“People will by now be familiar with the precautions we must all take to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and our polling stations will be no different.”
The vote counting will take place at Blyth Sports Centre. The votes for the county council elections will take place after close of poll and throughout Thursday night.
The votes for Police and Crime Commissioner will be counted on Friday, May 7 and the town and parish council votes will be counted on Saturday, May 8.