Local elections 2021: People in Downham Market stress importance of voting
- Credit: Sarah Hussain
People turning out to vote in the local elections have stressed the importance of doing so, saying the pandemic had not deterred them.
Voters in Downham Market described the experience as "no different to normal" despite the restrictions, as residents voted to elect new county council members, the next police and crime commissioner, and town councillors in their ward.
There was a steady flow of people entering the polling station at the Downham Market Methodist Church at midday on Thursday, May 6, and those that showed up repeated how important it was.
Brian Davidson, 63, who has lived in the town for 30 years, said the dull weather was more likely to have not helped more than anything else.
He added: "It's utterly important to vote. I have always voted, people gave up their lives for that."
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Sue and Mark Orwell said the experience had been "great", adding those who do not vote have no reason to complain.
They added: "To be given a chance to vote and not to do it is a waste. If you don't vote, don't moan.
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"You get other countries that are corrupt. This country is a great country and people should be more proud of that."
Others said the way in which booths were laid out was very safe and that those running it had done a good job.
Yvonne Phipps, 71, said: "There was not many people. It's very strange but we're used to it by now."
A couple, who did not want to be named, said campaigns were "low-key" this year but that they were aware of all the candidates as they "made themselves aware".
Lynne and Peter Eddleston said Thursday's elections showed "democracy in action", and that people are more likely not voting due to "apathy" rather than fear of the pandemic.
And borough councillor Andy Bullen said more people are now more engaged and interested in local council, particularly after online meetings were introduced.
He said: "Things in Downham Market are more at the fore for many reasons and local issues.
"Online meetings have also allowed people to have a voice, accessibility is key."