Call for local election postal votes to be sent out early

Posted on - 19th January, 2021 - 7:58am | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
Cllr Azhar Ali believes that people should have the option to vote via the post

Labour Group Leader at Lancashire County Council, Cllr Azhar Ali, is calling for all voters to be set an early voting postal vote application form with a return envelope.

This is to reduce the risk of Covid-19, allowing those most at risk to have a safe option if they choose to vote in the 2021 May council election.

Read more:Reps Gym in Preston shut down for fifth time by police and council for breaching lockdown rules

Cllr Azhar Ali said: “Elections are the foundation of our democracy and people should not have to choose between voting and their health.

“People have a right to vote safely and early postal voting will enable them to do that. People can already put in for a postal vote, however many people believe this is still on medical grounds or being absent during voting time, which is no longer the case.

“In order to overcome any confusion every voter should be sent an early voting postal vote form by their local council along with a pre-paid return envelope so they can choose to use a postal vote.”

Last year’s local district council elections and the Police and Crime Commissioners Election have been rolled over to coincide with the county council election in May.

Read more: Preston and South Ribble in England’s top 10 for fastest rising coronavirus infection rates

There is now growing speculation that this year’s election will be postponed.

So far, the government has stated the elections will go ahead as normal, but without any clarity regarding how this will be carried out and safety measures put in place for people wishing to vote.

Local council’s across Lancashire are now seeking assurances to enable them to plan for the election, whilst protecting the public and their staff.

Read more: New criteria for residential parking schemes in Preston and Lancashire

Cllr Azhar Ali believes that the extra measures which will be required in the election should not fall on local tax payers, and that the government should step up and provide the extra funding.

He has also written to all political leaders and members of parliament in Lancashire, regardless of their party and political persuasion, asking them to support the supply of early postal vote forms to be sent to the electorate.

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Would postal voting benefit you? Let us know in the comments below.

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