About the May 6 2021 elections

On Thursday 6 May 2021 residents in Hertsmere will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, and as councillors at Hertfordshire County Council. In Shenley and Radlett planning referenda will be held. There will be by-elections taking place for parish councillors in Aldenham West ward, South Mimms, Shenley and for a councillor for Hertsmere Borough Council’s Borehamwood Kenilworth ward. Whilst all eligible electors in Hertsmere will receive ballot papers for the Hertfordshire County Council election and the Police and Crime Commissioner election, only those in the relevant areas may vote in referenda and in by-elections.

The elections will take place at a time when Covid-19 continues to present risks to public health. Depending on the infection rate, measures taken to control the spread of the virus may change as we approach May. We are working hard with Hertfordshire County Council, central government, the Electoral Commission, the wider electoral community and public health authorities to help ensure you can stay safe when casting your vote next May.

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 at: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter

When is the election? What elections are taking place?

On Thursday 6 May, residents in Hertsmere will be voting on:

  • a Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire*
  • councillors for Hertfordshire County Council
  • planning referenda in Radlett and Shenley
  • a by-election for a parish councillor in Aldenham West ward
  • a by-election for parish councillors in South Mimms
  • a by-election for parish councillors in Shenley
  • a by-election for a councillor to Hertsmere Borough Council in Borehamwood Kenilworth Ward.

Voting in the referenda and by-elections is only available to eligible electors living in the electoral areas concerned.

*The Police and Crime Commissioner election was originally scheduled for May 2020 but was postponed following emergency coronavirus legislation. Polls that would have otherwise taken place between March 2020 and May 6 2021 were postponed by this legislation. The Hertfordshire County Council elections were originally scheduled for this date.

How can I vote at the May 2021 elections?

There are a number of ways to have your say in May. You can choose to vote:

  • in a polling station
  • by post
  • or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, known as a proxy vote.

How can I apply to vote by post or proxy?

To vote in the elections you must first be registered to vote, which can be done online in just 5 minutes. You can register at: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

If you would like to vote by post or proxy, you must apply for this type of vote.

To apply to vote by post you need to download, print and fill in a postal vote application form.

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 sooner, once the candidates for the elections are confirmed.

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 and the person casting your vote is often referred to as 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.

Please send completed postal and proxy applications either by email to elections@hertsmere.gov.uk or by post to Electoral Services, Hertsmere Borough Council, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 1WA.

How do I register to vote?

To vote in any election in the UK, you must be registered to vote. It takes 5 minutes to register and you can do this online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

If you're unable to register online, you can apply by post. You can download the relevant forms at www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/register-vote-and-update-your-details.

For further assistance please contact Electoral Services by calling 020 8207 7481 or by emailing elections@hertsmere.gov.uk.

Is voting by post safe?

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.

For an instructional video on how to complete your postal vote, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itxXRR09ZmY&feature=youtu.be.

How are you making polling stations safe?

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 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.

Will I need to bring my own pen or pencil?

You are always welcome to bring your own pen or pencil to use. Our polling stations will be equipped with enough pencils for each elector to have their own pencil, which will not be touched by another elector. It is not a requirement to bring your own pen or pencil to use.

We are working with the UK’s governments, members of the electoral community and public health authorities to help ensure polling stations are safe places to vote during the May 2021 elections.

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

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 if you would prefer to do so.

To apply to vote by post you need to download, print and fill in a postal vote application form.

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.

Please send completed postal and proxy applications either by email to elections@hertsmere.gov.uk or by post to Electoral Services, Hertsmere Borough Council, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 1WA.

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?

We want to make sure that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so, regardless of the pandemic. We will be providing more information nearer the time on how you can vote if you need to self-isolate, or live in an area under local lockdown.

You 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 on: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter.