Have you had your polling card through the door yet? You should have, but don’t panic if you haven’t.
The polling card informs you that you are eligible to vote, and gives details of how to do it. Of course, you don’t actually need the polling card, but it is reassuring to have it, and it does give almost all the details about voting that anyone would need…
Suppose you haven’t received a card? Well, the district council should have also dropped you a letter explaining who is registered to vote and who isn’t in your household.
If you have not got that, you can double-check if you are eligible to vote, by contacting Elections@staffsmoorlands.gov.uk or phoning 01538 395500.
You cannot vote in any of the forthcoming parish council elections, district council elections and parliamentary elections unless you are registered.
If it turns out you are not on the electoral register, no worries, because you can still register – many of us use the simple, straightforward online process these days. Go to www.gov.uk/registertovote to register, or phone 0345 605 3015 (you’ll need to have your National Insurance number handy).
However, to be eligible for this election on May 7th, you MUST register by Monday 20th April 2015… which is just a matter of hours away…!
Postal ? Proxy?
If and when you know you are definitely registered to vote, you can consider postal or proxy voting.
A ‘postal vote’ is good for someone who has difficulty getting out and about, or who will be away on the day, as it means you post your ballot paper, instead of having to go up to the polling station in Church Lane. (Or… you might prefer to arrange a proxy vote – see below).
However, there is a deadline if wish to apply for a postal vote – you must submit a form by 5pm on Tuesday 21 April. It’s quite straightforward – click here for the details: Voting-by-post
The authority will then send you your own ballot paper, on which you mark your votes; and then you MUST post it back to arrive by 10pm on May 7th.
You can also arrange for your voting to be undertaken for you at the polling station – ‘proxy voting’ – when someone you trust goes up to the polling station and fills in the ballot paper on your behalf. This is useful if you know you are going to be abroad or far away from Draycott, or in hospital, or you suffer from unexpected bouts of illness etc
If you want to arrange a proxy-vote for May 7th, you must submit an application by 5pm on Tuesday 28 April. Click here for details: Voting-by-proxy
Well, people do sometimes have completely unexpected events happen in the days just before the elections.
If, after May 1st, you have a medical emergency, or your workplace suddenly changes your situation so that it’s impossible for you to get to the polling station on the day, you can still make sure your vote is recorded.
But you do need first to find someone trustworthy who is willing to go to the polling station for you, and also you must fill in a form (as you would guess!) – ensuring it is in the hands of the election officers at Leek by 5pm on polling day May 7th. Click here for details and a form: Emergency voting
This is the most complicated of the options of course…
However, by far the most straightforward way is to get to the church hall (near St Margaret’s Church) and cast your vote in the traditional way. The Church Hall will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday May 7th.
Whatever you choose, good luck, and don’t forget the deadlines!
Most of the points outlined on this page are summarised on the district council’s Elections Web-Page. You may want to just check through it if you are still unsure.