Residents are being reminded to wear face coverings when voting in the upcoming local elections, as part of a series of Covid-secure safety measures at polling stations across the Chichester District next week.
The West Sussex County Council and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner elections will be taking place on Thursday 6 May between 7am and 10pm. On the same day, by-elections will be taking place to elect a new councillor for Southbourne Parish Council and another for the Chichester City Council West Ward. Neighbourhood Plan Referendums will also be taking place in Boxgrove, Stedham with Iping and Selsey.
On election day, a number of extra precautions will be in place to make sure that polling stations are safe and Covid-secure for voters and staff:
- Polling stations will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
- Voters can bring their own pen or pencil, however, pencils will be provided and sanitised between uses.
- There will be a limit to the number of people in the polling station to maintain social distancing, so voters may need to queue.
- Voters must wear a face covering (unless medically exempt).
Diane Shepherd, Chief Executive and Returning Officer at Chichester District Council, says: “In the run up to the local elections, we want to reassure people that we have been working hard to make our polling stations safe for both voters and staff.
“Polling stations will be cleaned regularly throughout the day and there will be a limit to the number of people in the polling station to maintain social distancing. Voters can bring their own pen or pencil, however, pencils will be provided and sanitised between uses. People will need to wear a face covering at the polling stations (unless medically exempt) and to keep a safe distance from others.
“All we ask is that voters follow the guidance given on arrival and to please respect polling station staff who will be working hard to ensure a Covid-safe environment for everyone.
“If, on the day, you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms — including a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste — or you have been told to self-isolate, please don’t attend a polling station. Instead, please contact our Elections team on 01243 521010.
“Polling cards have been sent out to those who are registered to vote, and we would encourage you to check the polling station listed on this card carefully as this may have changed. Don’t worry if you forget your polling card on the day — you can still vote at the correct polling station by giving your name and address.
“Some of you may have registered to vote by post. It’s worth noting that Royal Mail has introduced an enhanced collection service of Priority Post Boxes, which can be used to mail your postal vote. All of these boxes have late collection times with 98% of them having a collection time of after 4pm. In many cases, these Priority Post Boxes will also have an earlier collection as well and some have collection between 3pm and 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. To find a Priority Box in your area, click here.”