Posted: 04.05.21 at 12:22 by Ellie Brown
This Thursday 6 May voters in Richmond will have their say on the next Mayor of London and London Assembly.
Many people in Teddington will also be casting their vote in the Hampton Wick by-election.
Richmond Council staff are working hard to ensure that polling stations are COVID secure when people go to the polls.
Polling stations on Thursday will have the same safety measures that shops and banks have introduced over the past year, such as hand sanitiser at the entrance, floor markings and the wearing of face masks.
Each polling station has been assessed and will have safety systems in place that are specific to that location. For example, some staff may be behind protective screens or there may be a one-way system. So be prepared to follow the signage and any instructions.
Voters will see queuing systems in place to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed and people may need to be patient at busy times.
Polling booths will be cleaned very regularly throughout the day and voters are encouraged to bring their own pencil or pen. If they do not have one, clean pencils that have been sanitised between uses will be provided.
Mike Gravatt, Richmond Borough Returning Officer for the GLA election, said: “This election will be very different to usual due to the current pandemic.
"The safety of voters and our polling station staff is paramount so we are doing everything we can to ensure people stay safe in our polling stations.
“It is important that everyone has their say on who represents them, so we have been planning for some time to make sure that people can vote safely.”
Where to cast your vote on 6 May
Londoners can only vote at the polling station which has been assigned to them.
Before voting day you will receive a poll card through your door, which will include details of your named polling station.
In addition, an online tool has been launched to help Londoners locate their polling stations.
The interactive Polling Station Finder was produced in conjunction with the Democracy Club and is available at LondonElects.org.uk.
It uses electoral register information to identify the specific polling station each voter should visit to cast their votes.
To use the tool, go to the ‘Voter’ section of the website, select ‘Ways of voting’ and put your postcode into the Polling Station Finder search box. The tool will then produce the address of your allocated polling station and show its proximity to your home on an interactive map.
As well as going to the polling station in person, you can also vote by proxy.
This is when a person you trust votes for your chosen candidates on your behalf if you are unable to make it to the polling station.
The deadline to apply for a regular proxy vote has passed, but up until 5pm on voting day you can apply for a proxy vote as a result of an emergency.
Polling stations open from 7am and close at 10pm.
How to vote in the London Assembly and Mayoral Elections
In this election, there are three ballot papers and four votes.
You have two votes for the Assembly elections and a first and second choice for the Mayoral election.
You must make a first choice for the Mayor, or your vote won’t be counted. Each vote must be for a different candidate.
How to vote in the Hampton Wick by-election
In this election there is one ballot paper and one vote.
The list of candidates can be found HERE