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Don't be on autopilot for May Local Elections

Voters in St Helens Borough are urged not to be on "autopilot" for the Local Elections on Thursday 5 May, as they could fall foul of some big changes about how and where they will vote.

Polling Station

Article date: 7 April 2022

Perhaps the biggest change is the move to whole council elections. For the first time elections will be held for all 48 seats on the council at the same time - and every four years afterwards - meaning voters will elect all councillors for their ward at once, rather than in thirds as before.

Following a review by the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England of St Helens' ward boundaries, residents may find they are voting in a different ward, at a different polling station and for a different number of councillors this time.

After public consultation, the boundary review resulted in various changes to most existing ward boundaries and the creation of two new wards, with the aim of ensuring that councillors equally represent about the same number of electors per ward.

Because of these changes, a review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations had to be undertaken - also subject to public consultation - to ensure that all voters have fair and reasonable access to in-person voting facilities.

The move to whole council elections, the review of polling districts and stations, changes to ward boundaries and the creation of two new wards mean that voters must not be on autopilot and need to be aware of these changes for the Local Elections, and pay very close attention to the information on their poll cards.

With elections taking place once every four years now, residents are encouraged to take this opportunity to vote. Register before midnight on Thursday 14 April at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Check the list of nominations for each ward online at www.sthelens.gov.uk/elections under 'Election Notices'.

Enter your postcode at https://wheredoivote.co.uk/ to find your polling station.

Voting by post can be a very convenient way to vote and means you won't have to worry about possible changes to your polling station. If you are registered to vote, you can apply to vote by post by submitting an application form to the Electoral Registration Officer at St Helens Town Hall, Victoria Square, St Helens, Merseyside WA10 1HP by 5pm on Tuesday 19 April.

Get a form at www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-a-postal-vote.

If you are already registered to vote by post and haven't changed your address you don't need to do anything.

For more information about the upcoming elections and these changes visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/elections.