Voters right across Greater Manchester will head to the polls on Thursday 6th May.
In what is being dubbed by some as the largest and most complex set of elections ever set to take place across the UK following more than a year of suspension due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, those heading to their local polling station will not only vote 2021’s elections, but also 2020 too.
Voters across the North West will this year be choosing from hundreds of local councillors, Police & Crime Commissioners, and a number of different types of Mayors.
While this is not the case within Greater Manchester, in some areas of the North West region, voters could be faced with up to seven different ballots papers on election day, with additional elections also taking place for parish councils or local planning referendums too.
So, what are we voting on in Greater Manchester this year?
- Greater Manchester Combined Authority Mayoral Election – This role includes Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester Police.
- Local Council elections – 34 local councillors to be elected in Manchester, and there are also two councillor vacancies, one in the Brooklands ward and one in the Openshaw ward of the City of Manchester.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is a legal body which allows the Greater Manchester councils to formally cooperate with each other and partners on large-scale strategic projects that are of importance to the whole region, like transport, regeneration and skills, fire, policing, business and low carbon initiatives.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester is a major figure in the political life of the region, and is entrusted with unique powers and responsibilities.
Polling stations will be open between 7am to 10pm.
Although the polls will be open as normal on Thursday 6th May, it is expected that more people will apply for postal votes this year, and it has also been confirmed that a number of necessary COVID-safety measures will be put in place at polling stations on the day.
Candidates will also need to maintain social distancing during the election campaign.
At polling stations, voters will need to wear face coverings – unless medically exempt – and social distancing measures will be widely enforced, along with hand sanitising stations.
It is also advised that voters bring their own pens or pencils to mark ballot papers.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there will be emergency measures for people who have tested positive prior, or who have been forced to self-isolate.
Under this circumstance, an emergency proxy can be appointed up to 5pm on polling day.
Although the checking or verification of the votes will begin immediately after polling stations close at 10pm on Thursday 6th May, it is expected that it will take several days before all the results are known.
You can find more information via the GM Elects website here.
Featured Image – Flickr