'Polling stations are totally Covid-secure' says health chief as Harborough residents are encouraged to get out and vote this Thursday (May 6)

Voters are being asked to wear a mask or face covering and take their own pen or pencil with them

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 12:02 pm
People across Harborough are being encouraged to go out and vote on Thursday (May 6) as Leicestershire’s health chief pledged that polling stations are totally Covid-secure.

People across Harborough are being encouraged to go out and vote on Thursday (May 6) as Leicestershire’s health chief pledged that polling stations are totally Covid-secure.

Mike Sandys, the county’s Director of Public Health, vowed that you will be safe to exercise your crucial democratic right and vote in the county council elections coming up in just 48 hours.

He joined with Bev Smith, Police Area Returning Officer for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, in a short video showing people exactly what to expect when they go out to cast their vote.

Voters are being asked to wear a mask or face covering and take their own pen or pencil with them.

Mike said: “We want to ensure that everyone who is entitled to vote can do so on Thursday May 6 despite the pandemic.

“We’d like to reassure everyone that polling stations are safe places to visit.

“All polling stations will have similar safety measures in place to those that we are used to in shops – hand sanitiser at exits and entrances, social distance markings and where possible a one-way system.”

He added: “All you need to do is to take along a face covering and your own pen or pencil.”

Leicestershire has seen a big rise in those opting for a postal vote this year.

Over 96,000 people are choosing to go down that route and vote from home.

But for most it will still be the traditional trip to their local polling station.

Across the county, pubs, churches, libraries, a fire station and even a carpet shop are to be used as polling stations on Thursday.

Bev Smith added: “Polling stations will be Covid-secure.

“Voting booths will be cleaned regularly and although staff may be behind screens, they will still be available to help if necessary, including providing clean pencils for those who need them.”

People in Harborough will be able to return a councillor for the seven Harborough district divisions of Broughton Astley, Bruntingthorpe, Gartree, Launde, Lutterworth, Market Harborough East and Market Harborough West and Foxton.

You can find a list of the candidates here: https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/sites/default/files/field/pdf/2021/4/8/harborough-nominated-candidates.pdfAnd you will also be able to vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner election – which was postponed last May amid the Covid pandemic – on Thursday.

You can see who’s standing to become the county’s next PCC here: https://www.choosemypcc.org.uk/area/leicestershireThe county council provides a wide range of services.

They include adult social care, children's social care, public health, transport, education, planning, road maintenance, libraries, waste management and trading standards.

If you find yourself having to self-isolate on election day, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote - asking for someone you trust to cast your vote for you.

These applications can be made up to 5pm on Thursday.

Watch Leicestershire’s director of public health Mike Sandys take a walk through a Covid-secure polling station: https://youtu.be/ono1jYf7v4YThe polls will be open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday.

Votes will start to be counted at 11.30am on Friday.