‘Bring your own pencils’ call as Wales’ most Welsh speaking village goes to polls
Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter
Voters in Llanrug taking to the polls tomorrow are being told to expect some changes due to the pandemic.
While ballot boxes and polling staff will be in place as usual for the county council election the ongoing coronavirus restrictions mean it will be like no other witnessed in modern times.
To help the process, voters will be asked to bring their own pencils if possible, and adhere to the one-way system in place.
But in what will also be seen as a “dress rehearsal” for the nationwide Senedd and Police and Crime Commissioner elections on May 6, voters will also notice other changes as part of the efforts to make the democratic process as Covid-secure as possible.
“Those who will be working at the polling station and the counts have received guidance about their roles to ensure that they are aware of all the necessary measures to help keep themselves and voters safe,” Raymond Harvey from the Gwynedd Elections Service said.
“In accordance with guidance from the Electoral Commission, safety messaging will be displayed as voters enter the polling station to remind them of the need to maintain social distancing and to wear a face-covering in the building.
“Staff will be provided with relevant PPE, and voters (with the exception of those who are not legally required) who visit the polling station will of course be required to wear a face covering to enter.
“Hand sanitiser will be in place at the entrance and voters will be urged to make use as they enter the building, with staff also encouraged to use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day.
“As has become customary over recent months, a perspex screen will also be in place to help protect polling station staff on the day. Voters are also urged to bring their own pencils or biro.£
Raymond Harvey added that regular cleaning of touchpoints such as doors, polling booths will be carried out throughout the day.
“A one-way system will be in place in the polling station to help members of the public maintain a safe social distance, and the numbers of people entering the building at any one time will be monitored to ensure the safety of voters and staff,” he said.
“Similarly, measures have been put in place to ensure that the arrangements at the count on Thursday evening follow Electoral Commission guidance.”
The polling station at Y Sefydliad Coffa / Memorial Institute, Llanrug, will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, March 25.
The four candidates standing are Martin Bristow (Independent), Beca Brown (Plaid Cymru), Calum Davies (Liberal Democrat) and Richie Green (Independent).
A result is expected late on Thursday after all of the votes have been counted.