How to vote in Calderdale elections if you have Covid-19

Calderdale voters go to the polls today to elect their local councillors – but what happens if you want to vote but have COVID-19?

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 8:52 am
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2022, 8:55 am

Anyone who has already arranged a postal vote is likely to have returned it by now, but the situation might apply if you were planning on going to your local polling station and voting in person.

Calderdale Council have highlighted the issue through the authority’s social media accounts and have provided a link to the Electoral Commission website (www.electoralcommission.org.uk).

The commission’s site includes a form, which can be downloaded and printed out, for applying for an emergency proxy vote if you have COVID, and means if you are not able to cast your vote in person, you can have someone you trust cast your vote for you.

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Polling Station

Both you and your proxy must be registered and eligible to vote and a person can only be a proxy for close relatives and up to two other people at an election.

Close relatives are defined as the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister child or grandchild of the applicant.

You can apply for an emergency proxy until 5pm on the day of the poll – in this case, Thursday, May 5, 2022.

The form can also be used to change an existing long-term proxy or proxy for a particular election if they are unable to vote on your behalf because they are following Government guidance or medical advice relating to coronavirus.

You can apply to change your proxy until 5pm on the day of the poll.

To apply to vote by proxy, you must ask someone who is willing and capable to be your proxy and vote on your behalf.

You need to fill in the emergency proxy vote application form, which asks you to provide certain information, and give the reason why you need to vote by proxy.

If you are unable to sign the form for any reason, you need to contact your local electoral registration office – Calderdale’s is at Mulcture Hall Road, Halifax – and return your form to them.

It must arrive at the office before 5pm on the day of the poll.

After you have returned the form, your proxy must go to the polling station to vote – you should tell your proxy how you want them to vote on your behalf, for example which canididate or candidates or party or parties.

The elections team at the council can tell your proxy when and where to vote on your behalf.

Calderdale’s political groups go into election with Labour holding a five seat majority over all other parties – it has 28 of the 51, while the Conservatives have 16 and the Liberal Democrats five, the other two being independently held.

The bottom line in 2022 is Labour needs to hold at least nine of the 11 seats it is defending, or make compensatory gains elsewhere, to retain overall control – 26 seats are needed for an overall majority, with 18 seats in 17 wards being contested this year (two in Ovenden ward).