On Thursday 6 May there will be elections for Suffolk County Council, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, and a handful of by elections for the district council, town councils and parish councils.
Coronavirus restrictions mean that these elections will be very different from normal years.
Many polling stations may have to change from their normal location because it is either not available or can’t be operated in a Covid-secure way. There may be fewer polling stations if we find there are difficulties getting enough staff to operate them.
All of this could mean that you will have go to a different polling station and it could be further away than your normal one.
Once you get to your polling station, there could well be a lengthy queue due to social distancing restrictions and because it will take people three times as long to fill in all the ballot papers. It is possible your polling station could be forced to close at short notice if staff have to self-isolate.
In the days before the election you could become infected or be told to self-isolate because someone you have been in contact with has tested positive. It this happens you won’t be able to vote at a polling station.
These problems don’t arise if you have a postal vote, so we are urging everyone to consider voting early by post in this year’s elections. It’s easy: you are sent the ballot papers to your home about two weeks before polling day and you post them back in the supplied envelope. It doesn’t cost you a penny.
To ensure that you can vote as safely as possible, the Labour Party strongly urges you to apply for a postal vote. so that you don’t lose your right to vote this year.