ST HELENS is ready for a safe and secure voting day in the Local Elections, Liverpool City Region Mayoral Elections and Merseyside Police & Crime Commissioner Elections on Thursday, May 6, and here is a list of all you need to know.

The council has planned for Covid-19 secure elections, with changes to polling station venues and safety measures in place at polling stations, to help you and staff stay safe.

Voting in person

Polling station voters should double-check the location of their station, as this may have changed due to Covid-secure measures, or in some cases as a result of the polling station review which took place prior to last year’s planned elections.

Poll cards which electors will have received already detail the address of the polling station they should attend.

Residents can also visit and enter their home postcode. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.

If there’s a queue, you’ll still be able vote as long as you joined it before 10pm. Social distancing measures will be in place, and there may be a limit on how many people are allowed inside the polling station.

When you go inside, you will be expected to wear a face covering like you do when you go into shops or on public transport, unless exempt.

You should sanitise your hands when you go into the polling station and when you leave. Hand sanitiser will be available on entry and exit.

The polling station staff may be behind protective screens, like staff in shops, but you’ll still be able to ask them for help if you need it.

Polling station staff will be cleaning the polling booths regularly, so you might need to wait for a polling booth to be cleaned before you can use it.

You’re encouraged to take your own pencil or pen with you.

Where possible, polling stations will have a one-way system, so be prepared to follow the signage and any instructions.

Staff at the polling stations will all have taken symptom-free lateral flow tests to ensure all staff have tested negative for Covid.

Polling station voters should also consider getting a quick and easy symptom-free Covid-19 test – known as lateral flow tests.

If you do not have symptoms, you can access symptom-free tests by: · Collecting at-home test kits from your local collection testing site or pharmacy collection site · Ordering lateral flow tests online, or call 119 if you cannot order online · Attending a symptom-free testing site for a supervised test

Voting by post

When you receive your postal voting pack, check the contents carefully. Inside your postal voting pack, there should be:

  • instructions about how to cast your vote and how to return the postal vote pack
  • a postal vote statement
  • two envelopes
  • the ballot papers for the elections taking place

Read the instructions on the ballot paper carefully.

For the Local Elections you must vote for only one candidate.

If you are in Earlestown Ward, there are two seats being contested in this election, so you can vote for two candidates.

For the Liverpool City Region Mayoral and Police & Crime Commissioner Elections, you can vote for your preferred candidate and your second preferred candidate.

Your two choices on each ballot paper must be different or you can choose to state only one preference.

Your postal vote needs to be with St Helens Borough Council’s elections team by 10pm on polling day in order to be counted.

If you can't post your postal vote pack in time, you can take it your polling station or to your local council on polling day.

Voting by proxy

The person you have appointed as your proxy will need to go to your polling station to cast your vote.

They will receive a proxy poll card telling them where and when to cast your vote for you.

If they don't receive a proxy poll card, they should check with the electoral services team by calling 01744 676464.

They will be able to tell them where to go and vote.

You can still vote in person if you have a proxy vote, but only if you do so before your proxy has voted for you.

The last registration date for proxy voting has passed, however emergency proxy voting is available if there is a valid reason why you cannot vote in person, such as if you are ill or self-isolating. Call the council’s elections team on 01744 676464 for more information on emergency proxy voting.