Look out for your polling card

 Poll cards will start to arrive at households in the coming days ahead of the elections on Thursday 6 May when residents in South Somerset will have their say on who should be the next Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, together with some town and parish council by-elections and also neighbourhood plan referendums in Queen Camel and Martock are also taking place.

Your poll card, which should start arriving from Wednesday 31 March, gives you all the information you need, including the day and time of the election and where your polling station is. It also gives details of how you can make arrangements for a postal or proxy vote.

Anyone who is registered to vote can apply for a postal vote, whatever their reason, so long as they submit an application form to the Electoral Registration Office (The Electoral Registration Officer, South Somerset District Council, The Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 2HT) before 5pm on Tuesday, 20 April. The deadline for a proxy vote application is 5pm on Tuesday, 27 April.

For anyone concerned about voting at a Polling Station, postal voting is available and you should consider applying for a postal vote sooner rather than later. However, a lot of work is going in to making Polling Station COVID-secure and here are seven ways we are making Polling Stations safe to vote in.

Poll cards have been sent to voters who have registered to vote before 10 March only. If you have registered after this date, you will still receive a poll card, but not until closer to the election.

If you believe you are registered to vote but don’t receive your polling card before Friday 9 April, you should check that you are actually on the Electoral Register by contacting the local Electoral Registration Office on 01935 462462.You can also check by emailing [email protected] providing your name and address.

This year residents in South Somerset could be voting in two different elections, depending on where you live:

  • If you live in the following parishes (Chard Town – Holyrood Ward, Crewkerne Town, Haslebury Plucknett, Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerton Town, South Petherton, Wincanton Town), you may be voting to fill vacant Parish Councillor roles in your town and parish council.
  • The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), who oversees your local police force and ensures they are prioritising what matters to you
  • Neighbourhood Plan referendums in Queen Camel and Martock

Alex Parmley, Local Returning Officer said, “We are able to provide a convenient way for anyone to place their vote whether it be postal, proxy (someone who votes on your behalf) or, indeed, by coming along to your nearest polling station. We have worked hard to ensure all our polling stations are Covid safe for voters and colleagues running the stations. The council aims to provide as much assistance as possible to the people of South Somerset to enable everyone to cast their vote. Polling Station staff are there to assist you if you need help.

“If you don’t receive your polling card or have any queries about how to vote, then please contact the Electoral Registration Office.”

In order to vote at the elections on Thursday 6 May, you must be registered by midnight on Monday 19 April. It takes just five minutes to apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

For more information on the Town and Parish Council elections in South Somerset, please visitwww.southsomerset.gov.uk/elections-and-voting.

For more information on the Police and Crime Commissioner election please visitwww.avonpccelection.org.uk.