APPLICATIONS to vote by post in May’s local and mayoral elections have been sent out to all residents in Trafford.

Elections officials at Trafford Council want to make sure that everyone is able to vote – even those who are isolating due to Covid.

The officials are working hard to ensure that polling stations will be safe places to vote in but also want to give residents the opportunity to vote by post if they are worried.

The postal vote application forms come with a frequently asked questions sheet explaining how the process works, how postal votes will be protected against fraud and how the secrecy of the vote will be protected.

Along with the postal vote applications, the Confirmation of Voter Registration form is also being sent out to all households so that people can see what voter preferences are currently held for them.

Sara Todd, returning officer in Trafford and council chief executive, said: “It’s vitally important that everyone uses their democratic right to vote, so we want to make sure everyone has the ability to vote and the confidence that they will be safe when voting.

“Plans are under way to make sure polling stations are safe but we understand some people might be worried about voting in person, that’s why we are reminding people they can use a postal vote if necessary or to apply for a proxy vote.

“A postal vote would ensure someone will still be able to vote even if they suddenly had to isolate due to a positive Covid test for themselves or anyone in their household in the run-up to the election.

“Cases of electoral fraud are very rare but there are precautions in place because we take the security of voting very seriously.

“It is vital that everyone checks that details are correct and that you are registered to vote. Councils affect so many different aspects of everyday life so it is important that everyone is able to have their say on how the council is run.”

This year’s elections – postponed from last year due to Covid – take place on May 6. The deadline for postal vote applications is April 20. The deadline for registering to vote is April 19.