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Coronavirus

May elections to go ahead

(18 Posts)
suziewoozie Sat 06-Feb-21 22:39:11

I put in my application for a postal vote today. That feels like the sensible thing to do and covers all bases. There will still be a lot of totally unvaccinated/ partially vaccinated people in early May so I am not really in favour of the decision anyway and really don’t know why they couldn’t have been postponed until maybe October. I don’t think that would really threaten our democracy.

Gwyneth Sat 06-Feb-21 22:43:43

I agree suzie absolutely no reason why local elections can’t be postponed until later in the year. Maybe they think everyone will have jetted off to sunnier climes by then!

keepingquiet Sat 06-Feb-21 22:54:44

I'm not sure I understand the issue here- is it that you think polling stations would be unsafe?

Hetty58 Sat 06-Feb-21 23:16:15

I won't risk going to a polling station (it's not the place that's unsafe, it's all the people going in there).

I've applied for a postal vote too. I should think that a vast number of people have done the same.

suziewoozie Sat 06-Feb-21 23:46:07

keepingquiet

I'm not sure I understand the issue here- is it that you think polling stations would be unsafe?

I think there’s several issues ( and I keep thinking of more)

a) polling stations may not be safe ( even if you take your own pencil🙄) and as Hetty says, what about the other people (including the exempt-from- wearing- a -maskers)
b) people may think they are not safe and so won’t vote
c) how will counting be done safely especially as this years elections are more complex including Mayoral and PCCs
d) what if day before you have to self isolate?
e) sorting out polling stations - can’t use schools
f) what about campaigning/ canvassing/ election meetings?

It’s just daft isn’t it? Completely daft

Teacheranne Sun 07-Feb-21 02:15:20

I’ve had a postal vote for years, it was so much easier when I worked long hours than rushing around to get to the polling station.

Kim19 Sun 07-Feb-21 02:37:15

Totally with Teacheranne on this. I've been doing postal votes for years. Far more convenient. Have learned from the past not to be too hasty in sending it back lest I had an eleventh hour change of opinion.

Kim19 Sun 07-Feb-21 02:52:56

Perhaps should have added that I'm delighted they're going ahead as 'normal'. I've enough being postponed in life right now.

CanadianGran Sun 07-Feb-21 03:05:03

We had a provincial election in October, although it was not a popular decision to call an election during covid..

Looking back, the total amount of votes was down 4% from the previous election. Only about 30% of those votes were on election day; the rest were mail in, or advance voting. We went to the advance voting station. It was well organized; only so many people in at a time, a new pencil for each vote (one of those little golf pencils), and sanitizer at the entrance. The advance poll was at an unused shop in downtown core, and I believe there was a different poll on the other side of town. You were notified of your polling station by mail.

There was no canvassing, but interviews and debates on television, as well as local newspapers. I can't answer as to how the counts were done, but there were no documented spikes in cases after the election. I also cannot say what would happen if a person was isolating and hadn't asked for a mail in vote.

I admit I was suprised when they announced the election but it went very well. Mind you, this was provincial, not federal so the voter turnout rate is always lower.

Calendargirl Sun 07-Feb-21 07:59:41

I work as a poll clerk at elections.

Really not sure how it will come to pass.

For a start, the polling station I go to is a little village hall, they haven’t been open for any activity for months.

I assume most of the council staff involved in elections have been working from home, will they suddenly all have to return to work? Much goes on behind the scenes planning an election.

Mask wearing. I’m sure not everyone will wear one, could become awkward.

Even if people bring their own pencils, will the booths have to be sanitised in between voters? Will we have to sanitise our hands every time we hand out papers, and when they give us their polling card?

Add on the fact that in our area it is local council elections, plus police and crime commissioners, neither of which attracts a good turnout in normal times.

I feel it would be better to postpone, or somehow make it a postal election only, but don’t imagine there is time for that, as only 12 weeks to go.

suziewoozie Sun 07-Feb-21 15:51:26

Thanks for that insight Calendar . I think it’s all going to be a dog’s breakfast isn’t it? I wonder if they considered a total postal vote election? It’s also interesting that the guidance with this says the only campaigning that csn be done is online, by telephone or election literature delivered by post or other proper delivery service. That immediately begs the question about fairness in terms of funding especially as at local level independent candidates are more common and also for PCCs and even Mayors. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a legal challenge emerging somewhere along the line.

Jaxjacky Sun 07-Feb-21 16:04:07

Considering some of the lax behaviour in some supermarkets a polling station may well be safer if and it’s a big if, numbers in/out are restricted and masks are enforced.

CraftyGranny Sun 07-Feb-21 16:05:04

It would be good if we could vote online, if it is secure enough.

Or even through the Gov.uk site

Wouldn't fancy the postal vote saga recently seen in the US

Septimia Sun 07-Feb-21 16:09:27

Our polling station is our village hall. The chances of bumping into anyone apart from the officers is very low - we seldom do. We had a detailed questionnaire about it being used for the elections, including cleaning and whether people could enter one way and exit another (they can). Any venue is likely to have had similar questions about cleaning, the potential for social distancing etc., so should be safer than shops, for example.

CraftyGranny Sun 07-Feb-21 16:23:02

Our Village Hall is being used for the Covid vaccinations. It is extremely well organised too. One way in and another way out. Ladies with hand sanitizer distributing it along the queue and another one as I entered the building. Felt really safe.
The local Methodist Church is usually used for polling in my part of the Village. That too facilitates a one way in one way out route, so should be safe. Not too sure about how the booths would be cleaned though as they each have a curtain to be drawn back and forth. They could be removed though.

suziewoozie Sun 07-Feb-21 17:10:01

I think for some of us it wouldn’t matter how many reassurances we had about the COVId safety of a polling station. I’m sure they’ll all do their best - and then Mr/Mrs entitled- not- to-wear- a mask- turns up. What then? Someone ignores the one way system. What then? Re postal votes in the US - would we have someone behaving like Trump? The problem is we have no way of knowing where we’ll be in early May.

keepingquiet Sun 07-Feb-21 19:17:56

I've never seen crowds of people waiting to go in a polling station. By May it is hoped the chances of contacting the virus will be greatly reduced.
I have a feeling a certain popular pressure to delay the elections just as it did with closing schools.
I think it depends how much people really value their vote and democracy.
Postal votes are available, polling stations will be made safe. I really don't see the issue here.

EllanVannin Sun 07-Feb-21 19:24:11

Postal vote for me this year.