On Thursday 6 May 2021 residents in Malvern Hills will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at the Police and Crime Commissioner and Worcestershire County Council elections.
The elections will take place at a time when Covid-19 continues to present risks to public health.
Depending on the infection rate, measures taken to control the spread of the virus may change as we approach May. This means we cannot currently answer all the questions you may have about how the election will be run.
We are working hard with Worcestershire County Council, the Electoral Commission, the wider electoral community and public health authorities to help ensure you can stay safe when casting your vote next May.
We will update this page with further information as it becomes available.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I vote at the May 2021 elections?
You can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, known as a proxy vote. You must be registered to vote first.
How do I register to vote?
Registering to vote takes 5 minutes and can be done online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
If you're unable to register online, you can apply by post. You can download the relevant forms from the register to vote page on the electoral commission website.
How can I apply to vote by post?
If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply to do this now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly once the candidates for the elections are confirmed.
You must be registered to vote first.
To apply to vote by post you need to download, print and fill in a postal vote application form. Once you have completed the form and signed it, you need to send it to Electoral Services at Malvern Hills District Council.
The deadline to apply for a postal vote and cancel or make changes to a current postal or proxy vote at this election is 5pm on 20 April 2021.
How can I apply to vote by proxy?
If you aren't able to cast your vote in person, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as your proxy.
The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to cast your vote, or can apply to vote for you by post. Again, you must be registered to vote before you can apply.
To apply for a proxy vote, complete the form to vote by proxy, explaining why you can't get to your polling station in person. This form must be returned to Electoral Services via post or email.
The deadline to apply for a proxy vote at this election is 5pm on 27 April 2021.
If you currently have a postal or proxy vote in place the deadline to making changes or cancelling these arrangements is 5pm on 20 April 2021.
Is voting by post safe?
Yes, voting by post is safe and proven cases of electoral fraud are rare. When voting by post, you should mark your vote on the ballot paper in secret, and seal the envelope yourself.
You will also be asked to give your date of birth and signature when applying for a postal or proxy vote. This makes postal voting safe, because when you return your postal voting pack your signature and date of birth are checked against those you provided before to confirm your identity.
Your signature and date of birth are separated from your ballot paper before it is looked at or counted, so giving this information will not affect the secrecy of your vote.
How are you making polling stations safe?
We are putting arrangements in place to help ensure polling stations are safe places to vote. You can expect many of the measures you’ve become used to over recent months in shops and banks, such as hand sanitiser and floor markings to support social distancing.
Staff and voters will be required to wear a face covering unless legally exempt.
Watch this explainer video on voting in person during Covid-19 so you know what to expect.
Can I vote at my usual polling station?
We will try to keep polling stations in their usual place wherever possible but there may be changes. This is because some of our current polling stations are based in high risk settings such as care homes.
Please check your poll card carefully to see where your polling station is. Poll cards will be delivered about a month before the election.
Will I need to bring my own pen or pencil?
It is recommended you bring your own pen or pencil to avoid the risk of surface transmission of the virus.
Is it safer to vote by post, instead of going in person?
We are working hard to ensure that polling stations will be safe places to vote in May, but you can choose to apply to vote by post or by proxy instead.
What should I do if I find out closer to the time that I need to self-isolate?
Contact us as soon as possible. The Government will be making arrangements so those self-isolating as a result of coronavirus exposure, testing for or having symptoms of Covid-19, can apply for a proxy vote in the days leading up to polling day and until 5pm on the day itself, without having to find someone to witness their application.
This will also be available to those who test positive for the virus, on the same basis. If a person already has a proxy appointed to vote for them, but the proxy is then affected by Covid-19, there will also be the ability to make an alternative proxy arrangement. It remains vital that those who need to self-isolate continue to do so.
You should not enter a polling station to cast your vote if you have symptoms of Covid-19, are being tested for the virus or should be self-isolating following a positive test result or advice to do so by the NHS Test and Trace service.
How do I become a candidate and stand for election?