One week until Sussex heads to the polls for local elections

Polling day is Thursday May 6, 2021Polling day is Thursday May 6, 2021
Polling day is Thursday May 6, 2021
Sussex voters will head to the polls to vote in council and Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

All divisions are up for grabs at both East and West Sussex county councils, with a number of seats also available in Adur and Worthing, Crawley and Hastings.

Several by-elections are also being held across the county.

Ahead of polling day on Thursday May 6, the Electoral Commission is encouraging people to make sure they are ready to vote and is reminding them their experience will be different to previous elections.

Voters should remember to:

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• Take a face covering and a pen or pencil with them when they vote. If people forget these, there will be spares available for them to use at the polling station

• Clean their hands when entering and leaving the polling station

• Maintain a safe distance from other voters and polling station staff.

While voting should only take a few minutes, there will be arrangements in place to maintain social distancing at the polling station and staff will be managing the number of people allowed inside at any one time.

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This might mean that voters will be asked to queue to enter their polling station. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm. Anyone in the queue at their polling station at 10pm will be able to vote.

We have spoken to the leaders of the main political parties in both East Sussex and West Sussex ahead of the election.

Ailsa Irvine, director of electoral administration and guidance at the Electoral Commission, said: “This year voting in person will look a little different to previous elections. You can help keep yourself and others safe by following the safety measures that will be in place at the polling station. If you are asked to queue, this will be so that you and others can follow the social distancing measures in place so please be patient while you wait for your turn.

“It has always been the case that voters can bring their own pens or pencils to cast their vote, and this year it is encouraged to minimise contact between voters.”

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If people are unsure of what to do at the polling station, or need any help, polling station staff will be happy to assist.

If someone becomes unwell or is self-isolating as a result of Covid-19 shortly before polling day, or on the day itself, they don’t need to miss out on their vote.

Voters will be able to apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day, so someone they trust can vote on their behalf. They can find out how to do this by speaking to their local council.

Further information for voters is available on the Electoral Commission’s website.