People unable to get to their local polling station on 4 May for the first ever West Midlands mayoral election can still have their say by applying for a postal vote.
But officials warned today that those needing to vote by post rather than in person have less than a week to apply as the deadline for receiving postal vote applications is 5pm next Tuesday (April 18).
The mayoral election will see votes cast in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Each of the local authority counts will be collated by the returning officer for the mayoral election at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Friday May 5 where the winner will be declared.
The successful candidate will, as Mayor, be responsible for a range of issues, including transport, and will chair the recently formed West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The returning officer for the election and WMCA interim chief executive, Martin Reeves, said: “Not everyone will be able to make it to their polling station on May 4, they may have mobility issues or be working away that day, or be on holiday.
“But they can still be part of history and play their part in this election by applying for a postal vote.
“I would urge them to do that if they want to help shape a more prosperous future for the West Midlands because whoever wins on May 4 will play a key role in helping our region secure more jobs, more homes and better transport.”
Anyone who is registered and eligible to vote can apply to vote by post or have someone do so in person on their behalf by ‘proxy vote’.
Once they are set up with a postal vote their ballot papers will be sent through the post to them, along with a postal voter’s statement (which requires their signature and date of birth), and instructions on how to complete and return the postal vote. A freepost envelope in which to return it is also provided.
Those applying for a postal vote between now and April 18 are advised to contact their local authority to check when their postal vote will be issued.
Due to the specialist nature of postal vote production, it can take up to 14 days from the receipt of an application form for the postal vote to be issued.
If people leave it too late to post their postal vote back, they can return it by hand either to their local Electoral Services Office or any polling station in their local authority area.
Voters have six candidates to choose from for Mayor
For more information about the role and powers of the Mayor and the West Midlands Combined Authority, as well as further details about the mayoral election itself, visit www.wmcaelects.co.uk