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Frequently asked questions

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent County Council and local by-elections will take place in May at a time when Covid-19 continues to present risks to public health.  We are working hard with guidance from the Government, Electoral Commission and public health authorities to help ensure you stay safe when casting your vote.

We will update this page with further information as it becomes available. Further information can also be found on the website of the Electoral Commission.

Frequently Asked Questions  

Q: When is the election? What elections are taking place?

A: The polling day for these elections takes place between 7am - 10pm on Thursday 06 May 2021.
A: Currently there are 5 elections taking place on that day, some are local to particular areas of the district only:

ElectionAreas of the District
Police and Crime CommissionerAll areas
Kent County CouncilAll areas
Folkestone Central ward of Folkestone Town CouncilFC1 - FC4 only
New Romney Town ward of New Romney Town CouncilSWF3 only
Sandgate Village ward of Sandgate Parish Council NR2 only

 

Q: How can I vote at the May 2021 elections? 

A: There are a number of ways to have your say in May - you can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, known as a proxy vote. 


Q: How can I apply to vote by post or proxy? 

A: To vote in the elections you must first be registered to vote (if you are not already registered), which can be done online in just 5 minutes. You can register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. At registration you will be asked if you need a postal or proxy vote application form.  We will send you this either by email or post. Once you have completed the form and signed it, you can email a scanned copy to elections@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk or post to Electoral Registration Officer, Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, CT20 2QY. 

If you're thinking about voting by post, you can apply to do this now. This will make sure your application is processed early and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly. If you aren't able to cast your vote in person, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote. The person casting your vote is often called your proxy. The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to cast your vote, or can apply to vote for you by post.

To apply for a proxy vote, complete the form to vote by proxy, explaining why you can't get to your polling station in person. The proxy vote application form can also be scanned and emailed to elections@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk or post to Electoral Registration Officer, Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, CT20 2QY.

Postal and proxy application forms


Q: How do I register to vote?

A: The easiest way to apply is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. If you're unable to register online, you can apply by post.  Please call 01303 853497 to request a paper invite to register form.


Q: When are the deadlines for applications and registration?

A: If you are not already registered to vote, the deadline to register in time for the elections in May 2021 is 11:59pm on Monday 19 April 2021. The deadline to apply for a new postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April 2021. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on Tuesday 27 April 2021.


Q: Is voting by post safe?

A: Yes, voting by post is safe and proven cases of electoral fraud are rare. When voting by post, you should mark your vote on the ballot paper in secret, and seal the envelope yourself. You will also be asked to give your date of birth and signature when applying for a postal or proxy vote. This makes postal voting safe, because when you return your postal voting pack your signature and date of birth are checked against those you provided before to confirm your identity. Your signature and date of birth are separated from your ballot paper before it is looked at or counted, so giving this information will not affect the secrecy of your vote.


Q: How are you making polling stations safe?

A: We are putting arrangements in place to help ensure polling stations are safe places to vote. You can expect many of the measures you've become used to over recent months in shops and banks, such as hand sanitiser, signs, guidance and face coverings.  We will continue our discussions with public health authorities as we prepare for the elections to make sure we are following the most up to date guidance. We will continue to update this page as more information and guidance becomes available.

COVID-19 measures at polling stations include:

  • Fewer voters allowed in the polling station at one time
  • Separate entrances and exits with one way systems in place (where possible)
  • Altered layouts to allow for social distancing when waiting to vote and when completing a ballot paper, but still ensuring electors can cast their vote in secret 
  • Polling station staff wearing PPE 
  • Voters asked to wear face coverings where possible and use hand sanitiser when they enter the polling station 
  • Voters encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil 
  • Polling booths regularly sanitised

These measures may mean electors have to wait for longer than usual to be able to cast their vote. Busy times in polling stations often include 7am to 9.30am, lunchtime, 3.30pm to 4.30pm and 6pm to 8pm. 
Trying to avoid these peak times may mean voters have to wait for a shorter period of time. Anyone queuing to vote at a polling station by 10pm will still be able to vote. 


Q: Will I need to bring my own pen or pencil?

A: You may bring your own pen or pencil, we will also supply ballot pencils at the stations for you to use.


Q: Is it safer to vote by post, instead of going in person? 

A: We are working hard to ensure that polling stations will be safe places to vote in May, but you can choose to apply to vote by post or by proxy instead via the link above.


Q: What should I do if I find out closer to the time that I need to self-isolate, or my area goes into a local lockdown? 

A: We want to make sure that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so. We will be providing more information nearer the time on how you can vote if you need to self-isolate, or if the Folkestone & Hythe district is under local lockdown restrictions.  
You do have different options for voting at the May 2021 elections - you can vote in person, by post or by proxy. You can find more information at www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter

 

Q: How do I express my interest to work at the elections?

A: You can find out more information about the election roles available and to sign up to the staff database here.
 

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