Voters go to the polls on May 6 in the South Tyneside Council local elections
Polling stations are due to open at dozens of sites across South Tyneside between 7am-10pm on Thursday, May 6.
At least one seat in each of South Tyneside Council’s 18 wards is being contested, with two holding double elections, meaning a total of 20 seats are up for grabs on the local authority.
Voters in the borough will also have the chance to have their say on who should be the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner.
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Local elections are taking place for spots on South Tyneside Council
Several schools, community centres and churches in South Tyneside are being used as polling stations this year, with more than 20 pop-up sites or ‘portable stations’ also being provided.
Other polling station venues include The Lake Pub in South Shields, the Territorial Army Centre off Highfield Road, Cleadon Park Health Centre and a scout hut to the rear of the Grey Horse Pub in East Boldon.
In the run-up to polling day, council staff have been planning Covid-safe measures for people wanting to vote in person.
This includes regular cleaning of the polling booths, ballot boxes and touch points, extra signage and floor markings.
Voters are being asked to wear a face covering (unless exempt), to bring their own pen or pencil, to sanitise their hands on the way in and out and to keep two metres away from others if queuing is needed.
In addition, screens will be installed between the polling staff and voters and clean pencils can be provided for voters who have forgotten to bring their own.
Postal votes can also be handed to designated ‘poll marshals’ at the entrances of the polling stations.
Ailsa Irvine, director of electoral administration and guidance at the Electoral Commission, said voting in person this year will “look a little different to previous elections.”
In a recent statement she said: “You can help keep yourself and others safe by following the safety measures that will be in place at the polling station.
“If you are asked to queue, this will be so that you and others can follow the social distancing measures in place so please be patient while you wait for your turn.”
If you are registered to vote at a polling station, the location will be included on your polling card.
The public should also check where their nearest polling station is, due to changes made to locations in previous years.
Voters should not attend polling stations if they have symptoms of Covid-19 or if they have been asked to self-isolate.
Anyone who develops symptoms or is asked to self-isolate shortly before polling day has up to 5pm on polling day to apply for an emergency proxy vote – which allows them to nominate someone they trust to vote on their behalf.