Everything you need to know as Doncaster voters prepare to elect a mayor and council
People are heading to the polls next month to choose a variety of candidates to represent them on Doncaster Council.
Residents in certain areas will vote for an elected mayor, councillors, parish councillors, a South Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner and those in Edenthorpe will also vote in a neighbourhood planning referendum.
The most high profile races will be to elect councillors and a mayor. Doncaster changed the rules in 2016 when they decided to have a four-year fixed-term for all councillors and the mayor.
In wards with a smaller population like Edlington & Warmsworth, residents will elect two councillors but in larger population areas like Bessacarr, three councillors will be chosen.
At present, Labour is the largest party on the council with 41 councillors. The Conservatives are the official opposition party with eight members, five councillors are independents and one from the Yorkshire Party.
Unlike other councils in South Yorkshire where the council leader is chosen from the ruling party, Doncaster’s mayoral vote is separate and is made by the electors instead of councillors.
Voting will be different this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. People are being urged to vote by post if they feel they don’t want to attend a polling station.
Polling stations during Covid-19
There will be social distancing measures in place and a limit on the number of people allowed into the polling station at any one time. People may need to wait to be invited in to vote and some may have to queue outside.
Ballot boxes, voting booths and other touch points will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
Voters will be asked to sanitise hands on the way in and way out of the polling station. Staff will be wearing face coverings and there will be a screen in place at the point where ballot papers are handed over.
Face coverings must be worn (unless exempt)
There will be single use pencils available to mark your ballot papers, but people can bring their own pens or pencils if they choose.
Polls will open at 7am and close at 10pm. If you are in the queue to vote before 10pm you will be allowed to vote.
Vote by post
Those not wanting to vote in person can apply for a postal vote.
To request an application form call 0800 180 4604 or email [email protected]
Or people can download an application form. Print, complete and return forms to FREEPOST DMBC ELECTIONS or a scanned copy by email to [email protected]
Completed forms must be sent as soon as possible and make sure that it reaches the council by 5pm on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
Counting will begin late on Thursday night (May 6) for the mayoral race and the result is expected early on Friday morning (May 7)
Ballots will start being counted either late morning or around midday on Friday (May 7) for councillors and the full results are expected later that afternoon.