As people across the city cast their votes on Thursday, they are reminded to do so safely, and bring their own pen or pencil.

This Thursday (6 May) local elections, Police and Crime Commissioner and West Midlands Combined Authority Mayoral elections will be taking place in Wolverhampton, and across the country.

Although the coronavirus pandemic means that things will be a little different at polling stations this year, voters are being reassured that they can still cast their vote safely and are reminded that they must take care too.

In the 124 polling stations across the city, staff will be wearing facemasks and polling booths will be regularly sanitised. These measures to protect voters and ensure that polling stations are covid-safe include 200 litres of sanitizer, plus 1,000 face visors and 15,000 masks for staff.

Due to social distancing rules fewer voters will be allowed in at once, so there may be queues at busier times. Covid marshals will be on hand and one way systems along with separate entrances and exits will be used where possible.

When attending the polling station, voters should wear a facemask unless medically exempt, and bring their own pen or pencil.

David Pattison, City of Wolverhampton Council’s Director of Governance, said: “Voting this year will be a little different to previous years, but I want to reassure people that they can still do so safely.

“We have put measures in place to make sure our polling stations are covid-safe, including many of the measures we have all become used to such as one way systems.

“We’re doing all we can to make voting safe and are asking voters to do all they can too. People should wear a face mask unless they are exempt, follow social distancing guidelines and use the hand sanitizer provided at entrances and exits. 

“You should also make sure you take your own pen or pencil so you can cast your vote, but don’t worry if you forget, clean pencils will be available at polling stations.

Most importantly, please do not attend a polling station if you are self isolating, or if you have symptoms of Covid-19.”

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 on the election day, such as a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change of smell or taste must not attend the polling station. They should immediately self isolate and get a test as soon as possible. 

People who are self isolating can still vote. Voters must register for an emergency proxy vote, so someone else can vote on their behalf, before 5pm on Thursday 6 May, at The Electoral Commission.