Make your vote count in Waveney

TODAY is the last chance for people across Waveney to register for a postal vote.

Waveney District Council is reminding residents they must register by 5pm today if they want to vote in the May 5 election by post.

So far, more than 12,000 people have registered for postal votes.

The council is also urging residents who want to vote in person to get to polling booths as early as possible.

This year is the first time that all 48 Waveney seats are up for grabs. There are also five town and parish council elections, and the referendum on the proposed alternative voting system to elect Members of Parliament.

Arthur Charvonia, Waveney's returning officer and assistant chief executive, said that means there will be 'quite a lot of Xs' going on ballot papers come Thursday, May 5.

'Nearly all of our registered 90,000 voters will have two different ballot papers to mark their X on, and those in areas that also have a parish or town council election will have three papers to complete,' said Mr Charvonia.

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'Although we will have some extra staff working this year to comply with the national referendum rules, the extra ballot papers are bound to mean it will take a bit more time.

'In some areas such as the Carlton Colville and Harbour wards, voters will have three candidates to elect out of a possible 11 candidates on their district ballot paper, and in areas with a parish or town council election, such as Southwold, voters will have as many as 12 town councillors to elect.

'This means they will have quite a lot of Xs to put on their completed ballot paper, so the whole process is bound to be slower.

'Our polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm, so I would urge people to make the most of the hours on offer and try to get there earlier in the day, avoiding the busy times.'

• Those who have registered for postal vote should see packs start to arrive this Monday (April 18). Anyone who has applied for one and has not received it by Tuesday, April 26 should call the elections team on 01502 523238.

• All those who are eligible to vote on May 5 should by now have received a polling card informing them of their local polling station where they are entitled to vote. Those who receive a postal vote cannot vote in person at their polling station and must send back their completed ballot papers.

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