Worsley Conservative councillor Karen Garrido is predicting that more and more people will choose to vote via post in future rather than at the polling station on election night.
In the 2015 local elections, Worsley had the highest turnout in Salford with nearly three-quarters of the electorate casting their vote.
This was a spike of over 25 per cent compared to 2014, but Garrido cautioned that much of that was due to the national election on the same night.
“Last year was a general election so there’s always a very high turnout,” she said.
But she expects voter turnout to return to previous levels of between 47 and 48 per cent for this year.
She said that more and more people in Salford are moving to casting their votes ahead of polling night, through the post, and campaigners are having to start early to catch postal voters before they make their decision.
“We’ve had a higher turnout in postal votes this year – and I think it’s getting more [year-on-year],” she said.
“It’s easier isn’t it? You can do it in your own home – you don’t have to go out [on polling night] and once you post it it’s over and done with.
“It means if I’m on your doorstep on polling night saying ‘why haven’t you voted yet?’ you’ve already done it.
“So as soon as you get the leaflets you can make up your mind.
“We always start early [campaigning] and we try to get our leaflets on the doormat at the same time as the postal votes – but of course that doesn’t always happen.”
With a majority of 26.2 per cent and one of the few safe Conservative councillors, Garrido was confident of securing her seat for another term but said ultimately it was the decision of the people.
“I’m hoping [of victory] but it’s in the lap of the Gods isn’t it? In the hands of the electorate,” she said.
“That’s why I believe in democracy: if they don’t think I’ve done a good job they’ll throw me out!
“You just have to make sure that in the time you’re there you do a good job. But you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
Image courtesy of Ian Britton via Flickr, with thanks.