Queues outside polling stations like outside supermarkets could be necessary at the Holyrood election in May unless there is a big increase in postal voting.

In Glasgow, it is estimated that postal votes will need to treble to avoid the need for queues forming outside stations.

The election in May is planned to go ahead but there will be hygiene measures and physical distancing is likely to be in place.

Glasgow’s returning Officer, Annemarie O’Donnell said it would be similar to going to a supermarket.

To reduce the prospect of queues, which might put some people off voting people are being asked to consider a postal vote and to apply for one now.

The need for distancing means there will likely be fewer staff in polling stations, which could mean the voting process is slower.

Ms O’Donnell said elections staff would ensure it is safe to vote but that could mean queues.

Glasgow Times:

She said: “We’ll make sure it is safe to vote in person, there will be hygiene and social distancing measures in place that mean it will be no different to going to the supermarket.

“However, the process might be a little different and take a little longer. 

“It’s possible you might have to wait, or even queue outside at busy times. That’s normal in some countries, but we don’t have a culture of waiting in line to vote. 

“Higher rates of postal voting would go a long way to offsetting the impact of social distancing measures and any hesitancy among voters.”

In Glasgow, there are currently 64,000 of Glasgow’s 475,000 electors who are registered to vote by post.

Glasgow Times:

It is estimated that around 40% across Scotland could be motivated to vote by post which would help remove the chance of queuing up.

To get to 40% in Glasgow there would need to be another 124,000 added to the postal vote.

It is possible to register to vote in person up until Monday, April 19. Applications for absent votes must be received by 5pm on Tuesday, April 6.

Ms O’Donnell said that would be a “huge undertaking at any time” and asked people to apply now.

She said: “The worst-case scenario is that people leave it late and we just don’t have time to iron out any mistakes in applications.

“My advice to anyone who thinks they might want to vote by post in May is to apply now.”

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