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Safety paramount at polling stations, council assures ahead of vote

POLLING stations will be a safe place to cast a vote when elections are held next Thursday, Hampshire County Council has pledged in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Voters who are casting their ballot in person must wear a face covering and bring their own pencil, while sanitiser will be provided when they enter and exit and polling booths a safe distance apart.

On May 6th elections will be held for Hampshire County Council roles, the Police and Crime Commissioner and there are also three town and parish council by-elections for seats in Ringwood, Hythe, Milford and Commons in Christchurch.

Voters go to the polls on Thursday 6th May (46690964)
Voters go to the polls on Thursday 6th May (46690964)

New Forest District Council will administer the county council’s elections on behalf of John Coughlan, the county returning officer and county council chief executive. Therefore, polling cards, and applications for postal and proxy votes have been issued by it to residents. ​

Mr Coughlan said: "We want to make sure that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so safely and securely, and in line with Public Health guidance. If you plan to vote in person on Thursday 6 May, do remember to double check your polling card as there have been a small number of changes to usual polling stations for Covid-19 reasons. There will be no change to the hours of polling which is from 7am to 10pm.

"Polling stations will be safe places, and we have been working closely with Government, members of the electoral community and our Public Health teams which will ensure the latest official guidance is followed and Covid-19 safe measures will be in place.

"Voters casting their ballot in person can also keep themselves and others safe by wearing a face covering, bringing their own pen or pencil, cleaning their hands when entering and leaving the polling station and keeping a safe distance.

"If you are self-isolating or become unwell as a result of Covid-19 shortly before polling day, or on the day of polling itself, you can also obtain an emergency proxy vote. Speak to the electoral registration team at your local district or borough council who will tell you what you need to do to arrange this. But please do not go out to vote if you have symptoms of Covid-19, or if you have been asked to self-isolate.”

For information on voting and the elections visit www.hants.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/electionsandvoting

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