WITH elections taking place across Great Britain on 6 May, Royal Mail and the Electoral Commission are encouraging those voting by post not to delay in sending back their packs once they have made their decision.

People who have registered for a postal vote are being reminded to post their completed ballot paper as early as they can, ahead of the latest recommended posting date of 4 May.

While it is still safe to visit a local polling station, the ongoing impact of the pandemic means that postal voting has become a popular choice for many voters.

Royal Mail and the Electoral Commission are reminding voters who have received their postal ballot pack and made their decision, to return it early to help spread the volume.

Royal Mail colleagues are looking out for the ballot packs and postal votes which are marked by a purple flash to help identify them in the sortation and delivery process

Postal voters will be able to make use of Royal Mail’s extensive post box network when they are returning their completed ballot paper, including 35,000 priority postboxes designed to aid the Government’s coronavirus testing programme.

As well as offering later collection times on a Saturday, 15,000 of them offer collection on a Sunday. The nearest special post box to you can be found using this online tool. 

Voters should post their ballot paper by a latest recommended posting date of 4 May to ensure they can be counted. Postal votes can also be handed into polling stations and local authorities up until 10pm on 6 May.

Royal Mail is due to run a special postmark on stamped mail as a further reminder to post early on 3 May and 4 May.

David Gold, Director of External Affairs & Policy, Royal Mail said: “Given the ongoing impact of the pandemic, we recognise the vital role postal votes have to play in the upcoming May 6 elections. 

"Do look out for your ballot pack – with its distinctive purple flash – and post as early as you can to make sure your vote is safely counted.”

Craig Westwood, Director of Communications, Policy and Research, at the Electoral Commission warned of "absent posting" ahead of teh May elections. 

He said: “Absent voting is likely to play an important role in the May elections given the public health situation.

Postal ballots are now being sent out to people that have applied for one. We are encouraging those that have already decided how they will vote, not to wait until the deadline and to complete and return their postal pack as soon as they are ready.”

For more information on how to vote, you can visit The Electoral Commision website.