Minister confirms flexible voting pilots for local government elections
Mick Antoniw, Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, has confirmed four areas will trial flexible voting arrangements in May’s local government elections
The Welsh Government is introducing the pilots to see if it more people can be encouraged to vote by offering flexibility on when and where they can cast their vote.
In a written statement, Mr Antoniw said: “The pilots will bring the ballot box closer to people’s day to day lives. They are a step in ensuring elections in Wales are as accessible as possible and that everyone who wants to vote can vote.
“The learning from the pilots will be used to inform longer term improvements to the way people vote and to help reduce the democratic deficit.
The voting pilot schemes in May will run in:
- Blaenau Gwent– the centrally-located Ebbw Vale Learning Zone will be used as an advance polling station for all residents of the county, including students of the college who are eligible to vote at the elections. Advance voting will be available on the Tuesday and Wednesday before election day.
- Bridgend – polling stations in certain low turnout wards will be open for advance voting on the Tuesday and Wednesday before election day. A new advance polling station will also be created in a school on the Tuesday before election day for use by students registered at that school who are eligible to vote in specified wards.
- Caerphilly – the council offices at Ystrad Mynach will be used as an advance polling station for all residents of the county on the weekend before election day.
- Torfaen –the council offices at Pontypool will be used as an advance polling station for all residents of the county on the weekend before election day.
All four pilots have been developed in close collaboration between the local authorities, the Electoral Commission, the Welsh Government and the wider electoral community.
The government has also formally consulted with the Electoral Commission on the making of orders to implement the proposed pilots, and it supports orders being made.
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