Election day is here - check your polling station location
Three separate elections and a local referendum are taking place in Runnymede on Thursday 6 May, here's a guide on what you need to know.
If you have registered to vote, you should have received a poll card by post showing where your polling station is and other information. The card is for information, you do not need it to vote.
Polling stations will open from 7am-10pm and Covid-19 safety measures will be in place.
Some polling station locations have changed this year. Make sure you check your poll card before heading out to vote so you go to the right place.
You can also find your polling station on the where do I vote website by entering your postcode.
Voters should bring their own face coverings, a pen or pencil to mark the ballot paper. Please be prepared to queue as social distancing might mean it takes longer to vote.
If you forget a mask or pen/pencil staff will have spares and you will not be stopped from voting.
You need to go to your designated polling station; you can't go to a different one, for example, near where you work.
Eligible residents will be able to vote for:
- Surrey's county councillors who represent the Runnymede area - one for each of the six divisions which the area is split into.
- One third of all the Borough councillors. The borough is split into 14 wards for the purpose of the Borough election. Each ward has three councillors (except Englefield Green East which only has two) and one of the three is up for election.
For both Council elections you'll just need to place a cross against the one candidate you want to be successful.
Police and Crime Commissioner election
At the same time as the council elections, voters can also cast their ballot to choose the next Police and Crime Commissioner for the county area.
The Police and Crime Commissioner plays an important role in holding Surrey Police to account for its actions. The Commissioner also recommends how much Council Tax you pay by agreeing a budget with the Chief Constable.
The PCC election uses a different voting system, so you will be able to put two crosses on your ballot paper, for your first and second choice candidate.
Thorpe Neighbourhood Plan referendum
Residents in the area of Thorpe covered by the proposed Neighbourhood Plan will also be able to vote in a referendum in favour or against it.
Residents who can vote will be able to put a cross to say whether they are in favour or against the plan.
Voting in an emergency
The deadline for applying for postal and proxy votes has now passed, but it's possible to arrange an emergency proxy vote on polling day itself if you suddenly cannot vote. This includes if you develop Coronavirus symptoms. If you need to do this, you must contact firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on the day. You can also call the Council on 01932 838383.
The count is taking place in Addlestone this year.
Counting for the two council elections will take place on Friday 7 May. The County Council results will be announced by the Returning Officer mid-afternoon, followed by Borough Council results in the late afternoon and in the evening.
The count for the Police and Crime Commissioner election will take place on Saturday 8 May. The successful candidate is likely to be announced late in the afternoon.
The results will be published on the Council's website shortly after each one is announced. They will also be shared on twitter.
Both counts will be live streamed and you can watch on Youtube by searching for Runnymede BC Elections 2021. (This is an external service provided by the count venue, not the Council.)
Should I tell anyone who I voted for?
You do not need to tell anyone how you voted.
Exit polls are sometimes conducted, where people working for the media ask how people voted to help them predict the outcome. You do not need to respond to their questions if you don't want to.
Political discussion is not allowed inside and immediately around the polling station and staff will ask you to stop so that there's no risk of influencing other voters.
Why are people asking for the number on my poll card?
You might see people outside the polling station who ask you for the number on your poll card. They are volunteers for candidates or parties. They will use the card number to check who has voted, and to remind people who haven't yet to do so.
They are allowed to be there but you don't have to give them any information if you don't want to.
Can I take photos while I'm voting?
You shouldn't take photos inside the polling station as it might put the secrecy of the ballot at risk but you can take them outside the polling station.
Can I take my friend / partner / children / parents / dog?
You can go to the polling station with anyone you like, but only those registered to vote at that station can go inside. You must not be accompanied into the polling booth by another adult, unless you have a disability.
Children are welcome at polling stations. Your child must not mark the ballot paper but you can take them into the polling booth.
Animals, apart from assistance dogs, are not usually allowed inside polling stations, so will need to be secured outside if you take them with you
Why you should vote
Paul Turrell, Runnymede Borough Council's Returning Officer said: "Please make time to vote, we'll have plenty of space in our polling stations, hand sanitiser will be available and in most cases you'll be in and out in a few minutes.
"More importantly though, the way you vote can affect the priorities which both councils and the police work towards. The decisions councillors and the commissioner make can have a bearing on your day to day life or on those close to you.
"Councillors and the Commissioner are your democratically elected representatives - your vote gives them legitimacy when they make decisions or vote on your behalf."