Know how to have your say on 5 May
Voters are being reminded to make sure they are ready to take part in the elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner election for Nottinghamshire on Thursday 5 May.
Andrew Muter, Returning Officer for the Newark and Sherwood part of the Nottinghamshire police area, said: “With the elections fast approaching, we want to make sure that everyone knows how to cast their vote with confidence.
“Anyone looking for more information will be likely to find the answer to their questions at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk, and they can get in touch with the elections team if they have any further queries.”
Ben Brook, Head of the Electoral Commission, English Regions, said: “It’s important that everybody knows how to take part and have their say on issues in their local area.
“A lot of people don’t know what to expect on polling day, especially if they haven’t voted before, but with so much information available online and through your local Electoral Services team, we hope everyone will be able to feel confident about casting their vote in May.”
Here’s a rundown of things you need to know before polling day:
Make sure you vote in time
- If you are not already on the electoral register, midnight on 18 April is the final date to apply in order to be able to vote on 5 May.
- Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on the day.
- Your poll card will have been sent to the address where you are registered. It will say where your polling station is. You can only vote at the polling station that is stated on your own poll card.
- Plan what time you will be able to cast your vote at the polling station, leaving plenty of time before the 10pm deadline.
- If you are in a queue at your polling station at 10pm you will still be able to vote.
- If you arrive at the polling station after 10pm then the poll will be closed and you will have missed your chance to take part.
- If you have a postal vote, make sure it is returned by 10pm on Thursday 5 May.
- If you have not had time to post it before polling day, then you can take it to the polling station on polling day and hand it in. Your poll card tells you where your polling station is. Postal votes that arrive after 10pm on May 5 will not be counted. Proxy voting
- If you’ve appointed a proxy, then they need to make sure they are able to vote at the correct polling station on your behalf.
- If you are suddenly unable to vote in person, because you have a medical emergency which prevents you from attending on polling day, or your occupation, service or employment means that you cannot go to the polling station in person, and you only become aware of that fact after the deadline, then you may be entitled to appoint an emergency proxy.
- You can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day. You should contact your local electoral registration office directly to ask about this.
What you need to take with you
- Just yourself!
- You can take your poll card with you to show the polling station staff when you arrive. They will still ask for you to confirm your name and address. If you don’t have it with you, just tell the polling station staff your name and your address and they can check whether you’re on the electoral register.
- Social media is a great way to let your friends and family know you have voted and to encourage them to do the same. So use Twitter, Facebook and any other social media accounts you have to get the message out there.
- Remember- pictures of you before you go into or after you leave the polling station are great to use on social media posts – but don’t take a picture of yourself inside the polling station because if you post this it could be a breach of the law.
How to fill out your ballot paper
- The staff at the polling station will give you a ballot paper listing the candidates you can vote for. You may be given more than one ballot paper if there is more than one election taking place in your local area on the same day.
- Staff are on hand at the polling station to provide advice on the voting process.
- If you are disabled, you can ask the Presiding Officer for help and they can mark the ballot paper for you. You can also ask someone else to help you (e.g. a support worker, as long as they are either a relative or an eligible elector).
- If you have a visual impairment, you can ask to see a large print ballot paper or you can ask for a special voting device that allows you to vote on your own in secret.
- Take your ballot paper into a polling booth so that no one can see how you vote. Read the ballot paper carefully, it will tell you how to cast your vote. Do not write anything else on the paper or your vote may not be counted.
- Mark your ballot paper according to the instructions. A pencil will be provided for you to do this, but you may use your own pen if you prefer.
- If you make a mistake on your ballot paper, don’t worry, So long as you haven’t already put it in the ballot box just let the polling station staff know and they can issue you with a replacement ballot paper.
- Fold your completed ballot paper in half and pop it in the ballot box - and that’s it done!
There is more information on www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or call your local Electoral Services team on 01636 655245 or 01636 655459
PCC Candidates Announced
Following the close of nominations, Allen Graham, the Police Area Returning Officer for Nottinghamshire, has received five valid nominations for the election of the next Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire.
The five candidates will be:
- Tony Bates – Independent
- Tony Harper – The Conservative Party Candidate
- Fran Loi – UK Independence Party (UKIP)
- Paddy Tipping – Labour Party
- Jason Bernard Zadrozny - Independent
Further information about the candidates will be available to voters on the PCC candidate information website from 13 April 2016. Alternatively, you can call 0800 1070708 to request a candidate booklet.
Elections for the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) will take place on Thursday 5 May 2016. There is still time to register to vote if you are not already on the Electoral Register – if you are not on the Register, you will not be able to vote. Anyone who does need to register to vote should visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote with their National Insurance number to hand by Monday 18 April.