Have your say on who is the next PCC
Police and Crime Commissioners are elected every four years. The last election was in May 2016 and the next election will be on 06 May 2021 (previously due May 2020 but delayed by one year due to Coronavirus).
To vote in a PCC election you must:
- be registered to vote
- be 18 or over on the day of the election (‘polling day’)
- be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen
- be resident at an address in England or Wales (excluding London)
- not be legally excluded from voting.
Register to vote
To be able to vote, you must be on the electoral register. The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Monday 19 April. It takes just five minutes to apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote
Once registered you can cast your vote by post, in person in a polling station or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, which is known as a proxy vote.
Voting by post – The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April.
Voting at a Polling Station – For those who choose to vote in person, arrangements will be in place to help ensure polling stations are COVID-19 safe. Many of the measures will be familiar to voters, as they have been in place for some months in shops and banks, such as social distancing, use of hand sanitiser and face coverings (unless exempt). Voters can bring their own pencil or pen.
Voting by Proxy (appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf) The deadline for a proxy vote is 5pm on Tuesday 27 April.
The Voting System
PCCs are currently elected using the Supplementary Vote system. You make a first and second choice when you vote.
If no candidate gets more than 50% of the first choice votes, all except the top two candidates are eliminated. If your first choice candidate is eliminated, and your second choice vote is for one of the top two, your second choice is counted.
Who is Standing
Information on candidates will be available on the Choose my PCC website from 15 April.
Police Area Returning Officer (PARO)
The PARO for the election has published information about the election for voters.
How do you protect postal voting from fraud?
When voting by post, you should mark your vote on the ballot paper in secret, and seal the envelope yourself.
You will be asked to give your date of birth and signature when applying for a postal or proxy vote. When you return your postal voting pack you will again be asked for your signature and date of birth, and these will be checked against those you have already provided in order to confirm your identity.
Your signature and date of birth are separated from your ballot paper before it is looked at or counted, so giving this information will not affect the secrecy of your vote.
Is voting in person safe?
Polling stations will be safe places to vote. If you choose to vote in person, you can keep yourself and others safe by:
- wearing a face covering
- bringing your own pen or pencil
- cleaning your hands when entering and leaving the polling station
- keeping a safe distance
You should not attend the polling station if you have symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been asked to self-isolate.
The Electoral Commission will continue to follow the most up to date public health guidance as they prepare for the elections, and will update this FAQ as more information and guidance becomes available.
The PCC’s Office regularly updates the Coronavirus page with information on how to stay as safe as possible.
What happens if I fall ill with COVID-19 or need to self-isolate at the last minute?
If you are self-isolating or become unwell as a result of COVID-19 shortly before polling day, or on the day itself, you don’t need to miss out on your vote. You will be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote – where someone you trust can vote on your behalf. Speak to the electoral registration team at your local council who will tell you what you need to do to arrange this.
Will I need to bring my own pen or pencil?
Yes, you should bring your own pen and pencil to minimise contact.
There will be clean pencils available at the polling station if you forget to bring your own.
Is it safer to vote by post, instead of going in person?
Polling stations will be safe places to vote in May, but you can choose to apply to vote by post or by proxy instead if you wish. The deadline for registering to vote by post is 20 April 2021.