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By Chris Cave - Local Democracy Reporter
By Chris Cave - Local Democracy Reporter

Local Authority Elections: Concerns as hundreds self-isolating ahead of polling day

Tue, 20 Jul 2021

Proxy voting won’t be allowed in this week’s local authority elections despite a surge in coronavirus cases and hundreds self-isolating.

Voters in seven areas will head to the polls when they open at 08:00 on Thursday.

Those quarantining due to Covid-19 rules will not be able to vote in the ballot unless they applied for an absent vote before the deadline.

The Local Government Unit, part of the Department of Infrastructure, says it is providing support to authorities who need it.

Proxy voting is the process of delegating voting power to somebody else in your absence.

The elections have been delayed twice already due to problems arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

However, contests will now take place Castletown, Douglas (Central, East and North wards), Garff (Lonan ward), Jurby, Onchan, Peel and Santon on Thursday.

Guidance issued by the DOI says: “The elections are the responsibility of the local authorities and the relevant Returning Officer.

“Legislation does not allow proxy voting in these local authority elections.

“If a voter did not apply for an absent vote before the deadline or is unable to attend a polling station on Thursday 22 July due to self-isolation rules then they will not be able to vote.

“The Local Government Unit is of course always available to provide support to local authorities and in this case has suggested considering the UK electoral commission’s guidance around local elections during Covid, which includes carrying out risk assessments.”

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