From the blog of County Councillor Martin Shaw
The Government has decided to go ahead with local elections in May, but proposes to ban leafletting and canvassing by candidates. The Electoral Reform Society, an independent body, says: ‘One row likely to grow is this: in-person leafletting by volunteers remains banned under England’s lockdown. That means smaller parties – who rely on door-to-door campaigning more than paid leafletting services (which is still legal) will lose out. This is an issue of fairness we must all be aware of in the coming month or two.‘
It’s even more unfair to Independents. The Conservatives will draw on their huge funds donated by hedge fund bosses and Russian oligarchs’ wives to send leaflets out by post which they would struggle to find supporters to deliver themselves. Independents who have the commitment to deliver their own leaflets will struggle to find the funds to have them commercially delivered. It’s just not acceptable for the Government to skew the electoral process towards their own party.
REGISTER TO VOTE AND TO GET A POSTAL VOTE, NOW!
The Government has also failed to make postal voting easier, which is essential to enable people to vote safely and take the pressure off polling station workers. They could have created a fully online application system. At present you can download a form which you print off and return by post. But some people don’t have printers or even computers – the only way then is to phone East Devon Electoral Services on 01395 517402.
You must of course be on the electoral register before you can apply for a postal vote! If you’re not on at your current address, you can apply online here.
Get on the register now, and get a postal vote now – you don’t have to wait until the election!