Martin Ford 20 July 2020

Mayor anticipates Covid-19 election disruption

London mayor Sadiq Khan has urged voters in the capital to register for postal ballots ahead of next year’s elections to avoid disruption from the COVID-19 crisis.

The mayoral elections due to be held last May were postponed by 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Mr Khan has indicated that the disruption could extend to the rescheduled polling day.

Launching a campaign aimed at mobilising Labour supporters, Mr Khan said there was ‘ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19’ regarding May’s polling day and that applying postal ballots would ensure votes could be cast.

He added: ‘Early votes aren’t just for older people or those who struggle to get to the polling station. They’re about making it easier and more convenient for all Londoners to vote – especially those with busy lives and those who need to stay inside during the COVID-19 crisis.’

The Electoral Commission and Association of Electoral Administrators were among those urging the Government to postpone the elections as the pandemic grew earlier this year.

It was argued that the election practices such as doorstep canvassing and centralised ballot counts risked spreading COVID-19, while questions were also raised other whether the disease could be spread via the handling of postal ballots.

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