WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LOCAL ELECTIONS

Submitted on 03 April 2017 by Emma Goldring

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LOCAL ELECTIONS

On Thursday 4 May 2017, voters on the Isle of Wight will go to the polls to decide who represents them on the Isle of Wight Council and their town and parish council.

It is important you have your say in the election as you will decide who represents you on your local council and town and parish council, where decisions are made on the provision of local services.

Poll cards for the local elections will be popping through your letterbox from this week so make sure you look out for them. If you receive a poll card then you are registered to vote at this election.

Do I need to register to vote in the local elections 2017?
Only if you have not received a poll card, in which case you need to make sure you have registered before the voter registration deadline of Thursday 13 April.
Registering can be done online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote  
If you have received a poll card you will be eligible to vote at the local elections and will be able to cast their vote. You do not need to re-register.

If your circumstances change, for example you move home between now and the registration deadline on 13 April, you will need to re-register at your new property.

If you need to check that you are on the Register of Electors then please call Isle of Wight Council on (01983) 823380 or email electoral.services@iow.gov.uk. You will need to quote your full name and address.

What if I am unable to register online?
You can pick up a Voter Registration Form from:
Newport Help Centre, County Hall, Newport, PO30 1UD.

You must make sure you return the form before the registration deadline of 13 April to:
The Electoral Registration Officer, Civic Centre, Broadway, Sandown, PO36 9EA
You can request a form be sent to you by contacting electoral services on 1983 823380.

Who can vote in the local elections?
• Citizens in England, Wales and Scotland over 18 who are resident in the UK, and whose name appears on the Register of Electors.

How do I vote?
• In person
Your poll card will tell you when voting takes place and where you should go to vote on Thursday 4 May. On that day, when you go to your polling station you will be given a piece of paper with the names of the different candidates for your local ward area on it. You then go to a booth, which will have a pencil in it for your use. You then put a X in the box which reflects your choice and put the paper into a ballot box.
• By post
If you are already registered as a postal voter then you will receive your vote through the post. If you cannot or do not wish to attend your local polling station, you can still vote by post by filling out the application form available at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
You will need to apply by 5pm on Tuesday 18 April to vote by post in the local elections.

• If you would like to cancel your postal vote and vote in person instead, please email the council’s electoral services at electoral.services@iow.gov.uk, stating that you wish to cancel your postal vote and giving your full name and address.

• You can also cancel your postal vote by writing, giving your full name and address, to :Electoral Services, Isle of Wight Council, High Street, Newport,Isle of Wight, PO30 1UD
We must receive your cancellation in writing or via email by 5pm on Tuesday 18 April.

• By proxy
If you are unable to vote in person or by post, you can choose to have someone you trust cast your vote for you. In addition, the person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are 18 and are registered individually themselves.

A person cannot be a proxy for more than two people at any one election or referendum, unless they are a close relative. In England, Scotland or Wales, you will need to download and complete a form to apply to vote by proxy. There are different forms depending on the reason that you need a proxy vote, at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk  
If you want to vote by proxy in the local elections, you will need to apply by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.

• By emergency proxy
If, after 5pm on Thursday 25 April, you find you are unable to attend your polling station in person due to a medical emergency, or due to your occupation, service or employment and you only become aware of that fact AFTER 5pm Thursday 25 April; then you may be able to appoint an emergency proxy to vote on your behalf. Please contact the electoral services team by email on electoral.services@iow.gov.uk; in writing to: Electoral Services, Isle of Wight Council, High Street, Newport,Isle of Wight, PO30 1UD or call (01983) 823380.

Emergency proxy votes can be issued up to 5pm on 4 May 2017.

What is the poll card for?
The card tells you when voting takes place and where you should go to vote on 4 May 2017. We began issuing the poll cards from 27 March and they should arrive on doorsteps by 5 April. If you do not receive a poll card after 5 April, it may be that you are not registered to vote – please check this with the electoral services team by calling 01983 823380.

• What happens if I lose my poll card?
If you lose your poll card, don’t worry – you don’t need to bring it with you to vote. Simply go to the local polling station in your area that you used last time. If you don’t know where that is, check with the electoral services team on 01983 823380.

Where can I vote?
The poll cards will notify voters which polling station they have been allocated, so please check your poll card when it arrives.

Key dates to remember:
Last date for voter registration – Thursday 13 April
Last date for receipt of postal applications – 5pm, Tuesday 18 April
Last date for receipt of proxy vote applications – 5pm, Tuesday 25 April
Last date for receipt of emergency proxy applications – 5pm, Thursday 4 May
Local election voting day – Thursday 4 May.