Guidance for Covid Secure Elections 2021

Publish date: 22/02/2021

Hertfordshire County Council have produced Guidance for Covid Secure Elections 2021 spearhead by their Director of Public Health Jim McManus, as part of their Hertfordshire Covid-19 Safe Elections Public Health Guidance Group comprising several senior officers including our own President, Quentin Baker ,who is the Chief Legal Officer and Returning Officer at Hertfordshire. It covers general infection control measures, communications to voters prior to polling day, candidate briefings and nomination arrangements, polling stations and counting operations. Published with grateful thanks to Hertfordshire and Jim McManus.

Of specific interest, it recommends that Ballot papers will be quarantined for 24 hrs prior to being handled by staff. Some Councillors might not be in favour of this wishing to get on with the declaration, however on balance, and Hertfordshire considered this at length; in the pursuance of limiting risk, and making sure the process is as safe as possible given many people used to count are over 50, and whilst vaccinations are doing well, that age group is currently scheduled for inoculation mostly from March until the end of April, and when you factor in the 3 week immune response required, this is past the 6th May – so that provision has been added in, as a reasonable and proportionate way to further limit risk.

You can read the guidance here