April 21, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

WITH six weeks to go until we elect a new Senedd the deadlines for being able to vote in person, by post or via a proxy are fast approaching.

If you don’t want to (or can’t) vote in person for May’s Senedd elections you have a less than a month to register.

There are two ways you can vote without going to the polls if you’re unable or unwilling to stand in a queue and mark your ‘X’ in the box on election day.

If you’re disabled, shielding, Covid positive or working away on May 6, you can nominate someone else you trust to vote on your behalf (proxy).

If any of the above apply, or you simply don’t feel comfortable visiting a polling station during the pandemic, you can register to vote by post.

Councils have now released details of how to do both and the dates by which you must register for either scheme for North Wales constituencies.

System
It’s important to note no vote is wasted as Wales operates an additional member system of voting.

What this means is there are 40 constituency polls across Wales which elect 40 constituency Members of the Senedd (MS), in a “first past the post” vote.

That basically mean whoever gets more votes wins the seat, even if it’s by one.

To give additional balance to the Senedd there are also five regions defined across Wales, of which North Wales is one, which can return four members each to make up the 60 seats.

This is delivered by adding a second box to the ballot paper allowing you an extra vote for a party of your choice.

The votes are added up and the seats are split between parties based on their share of the vote across the whole of North Wales.

This is to make sure the Senedd roughly reflects the will of the people across the country.

For instance UKIP didn’t win any constituency seats in 2016 but took seven regional seats, reflecting its share of the wider vote.

Any party with 31 votes gets control of the Senedd and forms the next Welsh Government.

If no one party gains control, like in 2016 when Labour got 29 seats, the horse-trading starts and parties will negotiate to form a coalition.

In 2016’s case the Lib Dems only Senedd Member, Kirsty Williams, was given the education portfolio in return for sitting with Labour.

Plaid Cymru, the Conservatives and UKIP, with a combined 30 seats, could also have vied to form a Government but they didn’t, so the Labour/Lib Dem coalition was the only viable way of forming a ruling coalition.

That’s how it works, but how do we make sure we’re involved in choosing this time?

Registering
First of all you need to make sure you are on the register of electors.

If you haven’t received a form detailing who in your household is registered to vote, or you have and your name wasn’t listed, now is the time to sort it out or you won’t have a chance to choose your preferred candidate/party.

To do this you must write to the appropriate electoral registration officer for your county (address below).

Alternatively you can register to vote online at : www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

You must do this by 5pm on Monday, April 19 to be able to take part in the Senedd and Police and Crime Commissioner elections, which are held on the same day.

Postal
To cast a postal vote you need to contact the electoral registration officer for your county by 5pm on Tuesday, April 20.

This includes people with an existing postal vote who would like to make any changes to existing arrangements on a permanent basis.

Proxy
If you are voting by proxy all applications, cancellations and amendments need to be with your home county’s electoral registration officer by 5pm on Tuesday, April 20.

You will need to fill in a form and state the reason why you need a proxy vote.

It could be because you’re going to be on holiday or have a physical condition which means you can’t get to your polling station on polling day.

The person you choose as your proxy can also apply to make a postal vote on your behalf, subject to the time limits under the previous heading.

If you apply for a proxy vote your completed application form needs to be with your electoral registration officer by 5pm on Tuesday, April 27.

Emergency
Of course we’re in a pandemic, so it could well be some people are told to self-isolate or are infected with Covid-19 in the days leading up to polling day.

If this happens it doesn’t mean you’re barred from having your say because you can get an emergency proxy vote.

You can get an emergency proxy vote up to 5pm on the day of the election on the grounds of physically incapacity, work or service reasons or to comply with coronavirus guidance.

Any physical incapacity must have occurred after 5pm on Tuesday, April 27.

For work/service or coronavirus reasons the person must have become aware they couldn’t visit the polling station in person after 5pm on Tuesday, April 27.

PCC
As if you didn’t have enough decisions to make on May 6 the vote for region’s the new Police and Crime Commissioner also takes place.

The deadlines for the PCC election are as above and you must again contact your counties electoral registration officer by the deadlines.

This election is run on the supplementary vote system. This means you get two choices, a first and a second pick of the candidates.

If none of the candidates gets more than 50% of the vote from first choices, the top two go through to the run off.

If your first choice candidate is eliminated – and your second choice is for one of the top two – your second choice is counted and the candidate with the most votes wins.

Address
So here are the addresses and phone numbers of all North Wales counties’ electoral registration officers:

Conwy – Bodlondeb, Conwy, LL32 8DU – Tel: 01492 575570
Denbighshire – County Hall, Wynnstay Road, Ruthin, LL15 1YN – Tel: 01824 706000
Flintshire – County Hall, Mold, CH7 6NR – Tel: 01352 702300
Gwynedd – Council Offices, Caernarfon, LL55 1SH – Tel: 01286 679291
Isle of Anglesey – Council Offices, Llangefni, LL77 7TW – Tel: 01248 752519
Wrexham – The Guildhall, Wrexham, LL11 1AY – Tel: 01978 292020

You cannot copy content of this page

error: You are in breach of copyright
%d bloggers like this: