If you're over 16 and call Wales home, use your voice on 6 May 2021 by voting in the Senedd Election. Here’s the key things you need to know about this year’s Senedd Election.
A historic vote
For the first time in Wales, if you’re over 16, you can vote at this year’s Senedd Election.
When you go to the polls on 6 May you'll be asked to make two crosses on your ballot, and will be voting for the people who’ll represent you in the Senedd for the next five years.
Your first vote is for the person you want to represent you and your local area, known as your constituency. There are 40 constituencies in Wales, each sending one person to the Senedd.
Your second vote is to choose the people you want to represent your region of Wales. There are five regions in Wales, each sending four people to the Senedd.
Who represents you?
You are represented in the Senedd by five Members. One for your local area and four for the region of Wales you live in.
Constituency Members are chosen using the first-past-the-post system. This means, the person who gets most votes is elected, and represents you and your constituency in the Senedd.
Regional Members are chosen using the Additional Member System. The Additional Member system helps the final make-up of the Senedd better reflect the support for each party across the country.
Why do the Senedd elections matter?
Every year, around £17 billion is spent in Wales, on things that affect your life like education and health services. You’ll have seen recently how decisions in Wales relating to the COVID-19 pandemic have been different to other parts of the UK. Voting in a Senedd election is your chance to have your say about who’ll represent you and your community at the Senedd.
Your vote can influence who’ll be in charge of the powers the Senedd and Welsh Government has to shape life in Wales.
How does the Senedd and Welsh Government differ?
The Welsh Government is responsible for deciding how Wales is run and managing things day-to-day. They choose what to spend public money on and decide how to deliver public services, like health and education.
The Senedd looks closely at the work of the Welsh Government and questions its Ministers. It examines government plans and suggests changes. Members also raise issues in the Senedd that are important to you.
What do Members of the Senedd do?
When the Senedd is meeting, Members meet twice a week in the Siambr (the debating chamber). They question Welsh Government Ministers, examine proposed laws and debate issues. Members also take part in our committees. These focus on areas of life in Wales, such as health or education, and examine laws or government policy that could affect them.
Most Members have a local office in their constituency or region, and will often hold a 'surgery', these are regular sessions for any member of the public to come and meet their representative and discuss any issues that may concern them. Lots of constituents also get in touch online, or over the telephone.
Members will also visit businesses, schools and other local organisations to try to meet as many people as possible. This gives them more insight into everyday issues and problems facing those they represent which they may then discuss in the Senedd.
Voting on the 6 May
If you’re voting in person on 6 May, don’t forget to wear a face covering, bring your own pen or pencil, and only vote at the polling station if you are feeling well. Find out more about voting in person from the Electoral Commission.
Use your voice, vote on the 6 May.