The season of local council elections is drawing nearer, but even though Liverpool City Council is not holding one, it does not mean that there are none being held by other councils across Liverpool City Region.
Local elections are important as they allow residents to vote on a number of local matters that can help shape the communities.
They might not receive as big a turnout or mainstream appeal as your typical general elections, but they are a telling sign of the public perception of the nation’s big political parties: Labour, Conservatives, Green Party and Liberal Democrats.
The local authorities across Liverpool City Region holding local council elections next month are: Knowsley, Sefton, St. Helens and Wirral.
Here is everything you need to know about how to vote in the Liverpool local elections.
When are the Liverpool local council elections being held?
Local elections across the country are set to commence at the same time.
They are set to be held on Thursday, 5 May 2022, and the poll will be open from 7 am to 10 pm.
Why isn’t Liverpool City Council holding a local election?
A notable absence from the list of local councils holding elections in 2022 is Liverpool City Council.
Liverpool City Council were scheduled to hold one until Max Caller issued the results of his investigation into the practices of the local authority last year.
There was a four-month inspection into the council which found a number of failings, such as an intimidating atmosphere within key departments.
Liverpool City Council wasissued with a number of measures to help deal with the issues.
As a result, Liverpool City Council’s absence from the 2022 local elections is due to the fact they have now moved to a system of all-out elections (every seat up for grabs), which take place every four years.
The next local election for Liverpool City Council will be held next year in 2023.
How do I register to vote?
Anyone can vote during the Liverpool local elections providing they are registered and 18-years-old or older on polling day.
If you find that you are eligible to vote but are yet to officially register with your local council, this could have been achieved through the government’s official website.
However, if you are still yet to register, you will not be eligible to vote in time for the local elections as the window for registration has since passed.
Voters had until 14 April to register.
Can I vote by post or proxy?
If for whatever reason you are unable to physically attend a polling station on polling day, you can do so via post.
As long as you are registered to vote, you will be able to apply for a postal vote by submitting an application online through the government website.
In order to be eligible to vote in local elections, it must have already been submitted and received by your local Electoral Registration Office.
This is because the deadline to apply for a postal vote has passed as you must have sent in an application before 5 pm on April 19.
There is the opportunity to vote by proxy, instead.
Proxy is when you get someone else to vote on your behalf if you can not physically get to a polling station.
A proxy vote can be completed by another individual in-person or via post.
You must submit an application for a proxy vote - but ensure that both you and your proxy are registered voters in the Bristol area.
To apply for a proxy vote, you needed to visit the official Bristol City Council website and fill out an application form - however, the deadline has passed (Tuesday, 26 April at 5 pm).
Despite this, you can still vote by emergency proxy - and you can still apply.
An emergency proxy is if you are unable to vote during the Liverpool local elections because of a work or medical emergency - for more information about applying and to find out if you might be eligible, visit the council website.
What to do when visiting a polling station on polling day
If you are voting in-person on polling day, you will need to visit a polling station on the day of the local elections.
Polling stations are always open from 7 am to 10 pm - but you can not choose which one to visit, as you are usually assigned one on your poll card.
When you arrive at the polling station, you will need to tell an official your name and address so they can check you are on the electoral register.
You can show your poll card, but these are not required to vote.
After crossing your name off the list, you will be handed a ballot paper and make your way to a private polling booth to cast your vote.
Take your time to read everything properly before marking next to the candidate that you wish to vote for.
When you have finished, fold the ballot and post it into a ballot box, which later in the day will be taken away to be counted.
And that’s it. You have officially voted during the Liverpool City Region local elections.