By-election voters told they’ll be safe

Those voting in the upcoming by-election for the Leaderdale and Melrose Ward seat – which has been vacant since the death last year of Councillor Kevin Drum – have been assured that procedures are in place to make the process as safe as possible.

Friday, 29th January 2021, 1:21 pm
Rob Dickson.

At the full council meeting on Thursday, January 28, returning officer Rob Dickson told members that extra safety precautions will be in place for those who wish to vote on the day, Thursday March 11, at any of the ward’s 13 polling stations.

Mr Dickson said: “It is important that voter confidence is there in respect of people’s ability to vote, and the safety of polling staff has also been given priority.

"Arrangements are being put in place in mitigation of public health issues.”

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Precautions in place include queueing arrangements to ensure social distancing, similar to those in place in supermarkets; hand gel will be provided; and pencils will be given to each voter to cut the risk of Covid-19 being passed on in that way; and additional staff will be in place in the polling stations.

Mr Dickson added: “It will be slightly different from normal, but we need to give confidence to those voting that voting in person is a safe thing to do.

"It is of course, entirely understandable that voters may not want to turn up themselves to vote on this occasion, and they have until 5pm on Wednesday, February 24, to apply for a postal vote.”

The count, which will be done electronically, will start in the Volunteer Hall, Galashiels, on Friday, March 12 at 10am.

The cost of the by-election is likely to be between £40,000 -$45,000.