The elections on May 6 are now less than a month away. Voters across Wales will head to the polls to have their say on who represents them in the Senedd and as their Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Senedd has powers to make laws for Wales on a range of areas including health, the economy, education, housing, and transport. A Police and Crime Commissioner oversees your local police force and ensures they are prioritising what matters to you.

In one of the biggest recent changes to Welsh democracy, 16 and 17 year olds and qualifying foreign citizens will be able to vote for the first time in May’s Senedd election. An estimate puts this at 99,000 new voters across Wales who are now eligible to vote.

Whilst the extension to the voting franchise and the backdrop of the pandemic make these elections unique, the fundamentals haven’t changed. Before casting a vote, everyone must be registered by midnight on 19 April.

Our latest research showed that in 2018 an estimated 1 in 5 eligible people in Wales were not correctly registered. This affects some groups disproportionately; young people, private renters and recent home movers are some of the groups least likely to be registered. So if you’ve never registered before or have recently moved house, it’s essential to do so before the deadline so you don’t miss out on your vote.

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Registration is quick and easy. You can do it online in five minutes during your lunch break or while you’re making a cup of tea. All you need to do is visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote  and enter your date of birth, address and National Insurance number. If you're unable to register online, you can apply by post by downloading a form from our website.

Once registered, you have a choice as to how you’d like to cast your vote – in person at the polling station, by post or by having someone you trust vote on your behalf, known as proxy voting.

To apply to vote by post or proxy, you need to download an application form, fill it out, and return it to your local electoral registration office. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on April 20 and the deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on April 27. You can find the form on our website at electoralcommission.org.uk/voter.

Voting in person during a pandemic means that your polling station will look a little different to previous years. Polling stations will be safe places to vote and you can expect many of the public health measures you’ve become used to in recent months in shops and other public places, such as hand sanitiser, floor markings and face coverings.

If you become unwell with Covid-19 symptons, or have been asked to self-isolate shortly before polling day, or on the day itself, you don’t need to miss out on your vote. You will be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote up until 5pm on polling day. Speak to your electoral registration team to arrange this. You can find their contact details by searching your postcode on our website.

Voters can visit our website for more information on how to register and vote. And make sure to look out for our May 2021 elections guide in the post.