In the run up to the elections, with the purdah period fast approaching, election candidates up and down the country are getting nervous. Unlike other years they haven’t been able to knock on doors, hold street stalls or even leaflet as they ordinarily would.
Thanks to the Prime Minister’s roadmap, that’s about to change.
So for all you budding candidates out there, be it police and crime commissioners, local or county councillors, metro mayors, AMs and MSPs check out the roadmap below for campaigning!
From March 8 – 28th – One to one campaigning
Individual actiists can campaign outdoors in a Covid-secure way. They can deliver election material to volunteers and households and can canvas electors on the doorsteps but they must always be socially distance and NOT enter other people’s homes.
Social distancing, mask wearing and good hygiene is of course advised.
29th March onwards – Rule of six
After the end of March, Covid restrictions will allow for dix people or two households to meet outdoors. This will allow groups of campaigners to meet outside for publicity or street stalls. All activities should remain Covid-safe.
The Government realises that not all might be up for door knocking, leafletting and the usual street campaigning and hustings and for this reason, they have introduced the Election Delivery Plan to provide an extra £31m to local authorities to prepare for Covid-safe elections.
New, time-limited legislation has been put in place to reduce the number of signatures required for a candidate nomination and to introduce an emergency proxy vote for those affected by Covid or self-isolation to vote up to 5pm on election day.
Other than that the usual laws apply, you can vote in person, you can vote by post, you can vote in many elections (but only once in each!) and of course you can continue any activities involving postal delivery, telephones and online activities.
And yes, for those voting in person you are encouraged to bring your own pen – the ‘vote in pen’ conspiracy theorists finally won! But of course pens and pencils will be available at the ballot box as usual.
For the latest information visit https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/
Nb: For those unfamiliar, the ‘bring a pen’ theory is around individuals worried their vote may be erased or changed if they use the pencil provided in the ballot box!