Few involved in running elections believe that those scheduled for May can be held safely. No guidance has been received from the government on any way in which they could be (Make May elections in England more Covid-safe, Labour urges, 17 January).
As an election agent, I see no way at present in which I could ensure the safety of canvassers, or of myself. Even delivering leaflets – there is no Freepost in local elections – will be virtually impossible; just delivering nomination papers to the returning officer will be accompanied by some risk. Even if it could all be done electronically, we know that not all voters can register for a postal vote or could exercise it via their computers – because they don’t all have computers or smartphones, or any desire to acquire them.
The government’s dithering on this issue may be typical of Boris Johnson’s haphazard approach to decision-making in general, but it is unacceptable to those charged with making the system work.
The government should decide now that the elections should be postponed to the autumn or, if necessary, even later.
(Labour constituency party secretary), Ventnor, Isle of Wight