IT’S elections – but not as we know them.

Confirmation has been provided that local elections will take place, on Thursday, May 6.

However, polling stations will look very different.

A number of changes are being made to ensure voting is conducted safely amid the ongoing pandemic.

Voters will have to wear face coverings inside polling stations and will be asked to bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot.

Across the Bradford district, people will be voting for a West Yorkshire mayor as well as local councillors.

Kersten England, the district’s returning officer, says arrangements are currently being made and that various safety measures will be in place at polling stations for people who choose to cast their vote in person.

“There are ten elections and referendums currently running in the district on May 6 – local, mayoral, parishes and neighbourhood planning referendums, including multiple vacancies in some wards.

“It would have been a considerable logistical operation in normal times, but the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the scale of the challenge massively.

“While the elections are not until May, we have plans in hand now to deliver elections following Government and Electoral Commission guidance with Covid measures in place for the health and safety of voters and everyone involved in the election process.

“We cannot predict how many people will have been vaccinated by early May. Therefore people can expect the same requirements they have become used to in shops and other businesses over the last year, such as screens, using sanitiser and wearing a face mask.

“Social distancing is likely to still apply and there will be restrictions on the number of people in a polling station at any one time, which will mean there are likely to be queues at some points. We hope everyone will understand that these actions are necessary to ensure the safety of voters and staff.

“The elections are very important – they’re an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in the Bradford district.”

She says there are various ways in which people can vote – in person at a polling station, by post, or by proxy – appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf.

“You must be registered to vote – which can be done online in just five minutes,” she added.

“If you aren’t already registered the easiest way to do it is online at

“If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly – download, print and complete an application form.”