Leeds Local Election 2021: Voters urged to register for postal voting

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Residents are being urged to take up postal voting to help ease the strain on polling stations on local election day.

On Thursday 6 May elections are scheduled to elect councillors to Leeds City Council and a mayor for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

A devolution deal for West Yorkshire was signed into law on Friday 29 January, which will see the combined authority mayor given new powers in the region.

Currently elections are planned to take place despite COVID-19, but some disruption is anticipated due to changes to polling stations, as some locations are unsuitable for social distancing. 

Tom Riordan, Returning Officer and Chief Executive at Leeds City Council, said:

“It is always important people exercise their democratic right, and an easy way to do so, in the safest way possible, is by registering for postal voting. If you do, you can opt to vote by post at future elections.

“This will be one of the most logistically challenging elections we’ve ever seen, and it is important we do everything we can to make them happen as smoothly as possible.”

Distancing measures are likely to be in place meaning there could be queues and voters will be asked to wear a mask or face-covering if able to do so and use hand sanitiser as well as other safety measures. 

The council is encouraging voters to ease potential strain on polling stations by using a postal vote instead. For the general election in December 2019, more than one in five of those people who voted did so by post.

Households will shortly receive a letter and forms by post, but it is also possible to download an application form at https://www.leeds.gov.uk/your-council/elections/postal-voting. The deadline to apply for a postal vote for elections is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April, but residents are being asked to apply as soon as possible to help manage increased demand. 

If the elections are postponed, all postal vote applications made for 6 May will be valid for the rescheduled date.

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