Published Tuesday, 04 May 2021
Tens of thousands of Coventry residents will cast their votes in this year’s elections this Thursday (6 May).
Following a year like no other, elections will be held in Coventry for local Councillors, the Mayor of the West Midlands – who will lead the West Midlands Combined Authority – and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the West Midlands.
Numerous safety precautions have been put into place ahead of the elections at local polling stations to ensure that they are all fully COVID-compliant, with voters being reminded to wear face coverings unless medically exempt.
People are also encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil to mark the ballot paper, to clean their hands using provided hand sanitiser when entering and leaving the polling station and keeping a safe distance to other people at all times.
While people don’t have to bring their poll card with them to vote, if they do, election staff will not be able to take this from them and dispose of it – so they will have to take it away.
As social distancing will be enforced at polling stations, voters might also need to queue outside during busy times and so they should be aware that the usual peak times are at the start and end of the day and so if possible, these blocks of time should be avoided.
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm as normal on 6 May.
Over 41,000 Coventry residents have opted to cast their vote by post this year, an increase of around 63% from when elections were last held in 2019.
Martin Reeves, Returning Officer for the Coventry local elections as well as the Returning Officer for the Mayor of the West Midlands and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, encouraged people to cast their votes.
He said: “Elections teams here in Coventry and across the region have worked really hard to make sure that it is safe and secure to cast your vote this year. This has been done under incredibly challenging and arguably unique circumstances.
“Each and every polling station will be Covid-compliant, with teams on hand to ensure that social distancing is in place, the stations are well-ventilated and hand sanitiser is available.
“But we need people to do their bit and help as well. That means following the rules and thinking about when you vote as traditionally polling stations are busy at the beginning and end of the working day.
“Every vote really counts, so please don’t waste yours.”
Counting for the local elections will take place on Friday 7 May and the results of the 19 seats that will be contested will be declared that day.
Counting for the West Midlands Mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections will take place the following day on Saturday 8 May. The overall combined results from the seven West Midlands council areas will be made on the same day at the Utilita Arena Birmingham (formerly the NIA).