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Want to vote, but not in person? Act now!

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If you want to have a say in who represents you in the big decisions that will affect your life in the future, but don't want to go to a polling station on election day – you need to act now!

Three local elections take place on 6 May and you can cast your vote in one of three ways – at a polling station on the day, by post or by appointing to someone to vote on your behalf. The latter is known as a proxy vote.

For a postal or a proxy vote, you need to apply in advance, and the deadlines to do so are next week. So don't delay!

Applications for a postal vote need to be made by 5pm on Tuesday, April 20. Ballot papers will then be sent out in advance and voters will need to return them by 10pm on polling day, May 6.

Applications for a proxy vote – when you appoint someone else to vote at a polling station in your place – need to be made by 5pm on April 27.

In both cases, applications can be made at www.worcester.gov.uk/elections.

Shane Flynn, Returning Officer for Worcester, said: "We want to make sure everyone in Worcester has a say in the big decisions that will affect their lives. Some people may prefer to vote by a postal or proxy method instead of attending a polling station.

"Voting by post or appointing a proxy to vote on your behalf are great alternatives, but the clock is ticking so if you do want to use one of these methods please act quickly by going to www.worcester.gov.uk/elections and applying now."

It will be possible to arrange an emergency proxy vote later than 27 April in specific circumstances – further details will be announced by the Electoral Commission in the near future.

The elections on 6 May will be for Worcester City Council, Worcestershire County Council and the West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner. That means the votes residents cast on the day will have an impact on everything from local bin collections to roads and policing priorities.

To be able to vote, residents need to be on the electoral register. Anyone who is not already, needs to hurry, as the deadline to register for the local elections is Monday, April 19. It only takes five minutes at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

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