Mick Antoniw, General Counsel and Minister for the Constitution, has confirmed that four areas will test flexible voting arrangements in the local elections in May
The Welsh Government is presenting the pilots to see if it can encourage more people to vote by providing flexibility in when and where they can vote.
In a written statement, Mr Antoniw said: “The pilots will bring the ballot box closer to people’s daily lives. They are a step to ensure that elections in Wales are as accessible as possible and that everyone who wants to vote can vote.
“Learnings from the pilots will be used to inform longer-term improvements in how people vote and to help reduce the democratic deficit.
The May Voting Pilots will take place in:
- Blaenau-Gwent– the centrally located Ebbw Vale Learning Area will be used as an advance polling place for all county residents, including college students who are eligible to vote in the elections. Advance voting will be available on the Tuesday and Wednesday before polling day.
- Bridgend – polling stations in some low-turnout areas will be open for advance voting on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Election Day. A new advance poll will also be set up at a school on the Tuesday before Election Day for use by students enrolled at that school who are eligible to vote in specified wards.
- Caerphilly – Ystrad Mynach Council Offices will be used as an advance polling station for all county residents the weekend before Election Day.
- Torfaen – Pontypool Council offices will be used as an advance polling station for all county residents the weekend before Election Day.
The four pilots were developed in close collaboration between local authorities, the Electoral Commission, the Welsh Government and the wider electoral community.
The government has also formally consulted with the Electoral Commission on issuing orders to implement the proposed pilot projects, and it supports the current orders.
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