2021 elections guidance

Election will be held on Thursday 6 May 2021

Read our notices of the election

Type of elections and date

On Thursday 6 May 2021, residents in the Hampshire County Council area will be voting in elections for:

  • Hampshire County Council
  • The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire
  • Local District / Borough / City Councils (only in some areas)
  • Parish / town councils (only in some areas)

The Police and Crime Commissioner and local council elections will be held in 2021, after being postponed in May 2020, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

For further details of elections for your local District, Borough or City council, please visit their websites.

Further information on the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner elections is hosted on Southampton City Council’s website.

Register to vote

To vote in any election in the UK, you must be registered to vote. It takes five minutes to register and you can do this using the GOV.UK website.

The deadline to register is midnight on 19 April 2021.

If you are unable to register online, you can apply by post. You can download the relevant forms from the register to vote section of the Electoral Commission website.

If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you do not need to take any action. If in doubt, you can check with your local district / borough council via the details listed in the next section.

Ways to vote

There are a number of ways to have your say in the May 2021 elections. You can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, known as a proxy vote.

Post or proxy vote

Apply to vote by post or proxy

To apply to vote by post you need to download, print and fill in a postal vote application form. Once you have completed the form and signed it, you need to send it or email a scanned copy to the electoral services team at your local district or borough council in Hampshire.

If you cannot print the form, contact the electoral services team at your local district or borough council via the details below so that a form can be posted to you.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
East Hampshire District Council
Eastleigh Borough Council
Fareham Borough Council
Gosport Borough Council
Hart District Council
Havant Borough Council
New Forest District Council
Rushmoor Borough Council
Test Valley Borough Council
Winchester City Council

If you want to vote by post, you can apply to do this now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly once the candidates for the elections are confirmed.

If you are not able to cast your vote in person, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as your proxy.

To apply for a proxy vote, complete the form to vote by proxy, explaining why you can't get to your polling station in person. The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to cast your vote or can apply to vote for you, by post.

Anyone who is self-isolating because of COVID-19 can also request a proxy vote at the last minute – up to 5pm on polling day itself.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 20 April.

The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on 27 April.

If you already have a postal or proxy vote arrangement in place, and your details have not changed, you do not need to take any action. If in doubt, you can check with your local district / borough council.

Don’t forget that however you choose to vote, you must be registered first.

How do you protect voting from fraud?

When voting by post, you should mark your vote on the ballot paper in secret and seal the envelope yourself.

You will also be asked to give your date of birth and signature when applying for a postal or proxy vote. When you return your postal voting pack you will again be asked for your signature and date of birth, and these will be checked against those you provided before to confirm your identity.

Your signature and date of birth are separated from your ballot paper before it is looked at or counted, so giving this information will not affect the secrecy of your vote.

Casting your vote safely during COVID-19

Is voting in person safe?

Polling stations will be safe places to vote. If you choose to vote in person, you can keep yourself and others safe by: 

  • wearing a face covering
  • bringing your own pen or pencil
  • cleaning your hands when entering and leaving the polling station
  • keeping a safe distance

You should not attend the polling station if you have symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been asked to self-isolate.

We will continue to work closely with Hampshire’s expert Public Health teams as we prepare for the elections to make sure we are following the most up to date guidance.

This FAQ page will be updated as more information and guidance becomes available.

Is it safer to vote by post, instead of going in person?

Polling stations will be safe places to vote in May.

Voting in person will still be available for all those who would like to, and there will be no change to the hours of polling.

You can also choose to apply to vote by post or by proxy instead.

What happens if I fall ill with COVID-19, need to self-isolate, or my area goes into a local lockdown?

We want to make sure that everyone who is entitled to vote, is able to do so.

You do have different options for voting at the May 2021 elections – you can vote in person, by post or by proxy.

Voting is a permitted during a lockdown – it is a lawful reason to leave your house during restrictions.

However, if you are self-isolating or become unwell as a result of COVID-19 shortly before polling day, or on the day of polling itself, you should not go out to vote. You can obtain an emergency proxy vote. Speak to the electoral registration team at your local district / borough council who will tell you what you need to do to arrange this.

If you already have a proxy appointed to vote for you, but the proxy is then affected by COVID-19, they can also make an alternative proxy arrangement. It remains vital that people who need to self-isolate continue to do so.

You can find more information about voting options in the voter section of the Electoral Commission website.

Timetable of proceedings

Monday 22 March 2021

Publication of Notice of Election.

4 pm, Thursday 8 April 2021

  • Deadline for delivery of nominations
  • Deadline for withdrawal of candidate
  • Deadline for appointment of election agents

4 pm, Friday 9 April 2021

  • Publication of statement of persons nominated
  • Publication of notice of election agents

Monday 19 April 2021

Last date for registration.

5 pm, Tuesday 20 April 2021

Deadline for receipt of postal vote applications.

Tuesday 27 April 2021

  • 5pm – Deadline for receipt of proxy vote applications
  • Publication of notice of poll

Wednesday 28 April 2021

Deadline for appointment of poll and count agents.

Thursday 29 April 2021

First day to issue replacement lost postal ballot papers.

Thursday 6 May 2021

  • 7 am to 10 pm – Day of poll
  • 5 pm – Receipt of emergency proxy vote applications
  • 5 pm – Last day to issue replacement spoilt or lost postal ballot papers

Thursday 10 June 2021

Return of election expenses.