With polling day just three days away, you may be wondering what voting in a pandemic will look like. 

Local councils have been working to make polling stations safe places to vote, and you can expect to see many of the measures you’ve seen in other indoor places, hand sanitiser or floor markings to help you keep your distance from others.

There’s a few things you should know ahead of the big day, so you’re ready to vote safely. You’ll need to wear a face covering, and remember to bring a pen or pencil with you. Don’t worry if you forget, polling station staff will have face coverings and a clean supply of pencils available to offer you.

You should make sure to clean your hands when entering and leaving the polling station, and keep a safe distance from others. You might need to queue outside, so that social distancing measures can be followed, so make sure to prepare for the unpredictable Welsh weather before you head out! Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm, if you’re in the queue at 10pm you will be able to vote.

If you become unwell with Covid-19 or need to self-isolate shortly before or on polling day, don’t panic; you don’t need to miss out on your vote. You can apply for an emergency proxy through your local council up until 5pm on polling day, so someone you trust can vote on your behalf.  

As well as remembering to bring your face covering and pencil, it’s important to understand how to complete the ballot papers correctly to avoid making mistakes that could cost you your vote.

In Wales, there are Senedd and Police and Crime Commissioner elections happening on 6 May so you may have up to three different ballot papers.

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You will recieve two ballot papers for the Senedd election. One to elect your constituency member and another to elect a party or independent candidate to represent your region.

The Senedd has powers to make laws for Wales on a range of areas including health, the economy, education, housing and transport.

It is made up of 60 Members of the Senedd (MS). 40 MS represent Wales’ constituencies (your local area) and 20 MS represent five regions: North Wales, Mid and West Wales, South Wales West, South Wales East, and South Wales Central.

On the constituency ballot paper, you choose a candidate to represent your constituency by marking a cross in the box opposite your chosen candidate. The ‘first past the post’ voting system is used, and the candidate with the most votes becomes the Member of the Senedd for your constituency.

On the regional ballot paper you choose a party or independent candidate to represent your region. The ‘Additional Member System’ is used, and in each region, parties and independent candidates win seats based on the number of votes they receive in this regional ballot, and the number of constituency seats they win in the region.

A Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) oversees your local police force and ensures they are prioritising what matters to you. On the PCC ballot paper, you can vote for a first and second choice candidate.

You mark a cross opposite your two options in the two columns. If you have marked a first choice, you can choose whether or not to mark a second choice.

This might sound like a lot to remember, but if you need any help navigating the social distancing measures or completing the ballot papers just ask a member of polling station staff. They will be happy to help.

This year, it will take a little longer for the election results to be announced due to the social distancing measures that will be in place in count venues. Counts will begin on Friday 7 May at 9am.

Don’t forget to check your poll card to see where your polling station is, and you're ready to vote.