Don't Lose Your right to vote in Local Elections
11th April 2011
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Make sure you exercise your democratic right

Local elections and the referendum on the proposed introduction of changes to the voting system for electing MPs are fast approaching - so don’t miss out on the chance to take part. Elections for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Leigh Town Council and the Alternative Vote (AV) referendum are being held on Thursday 5th May.

But the deadline for registering as an elector and for applying for, amending or cancelling a postal vote is 5pm on Thursday 14th April.

You can exercise your democratic right by voting at your nearest polling station between 7am and 10pm on Thursday 5th May.

If you’ve never voted in person before then you may find it helpful to visit the Electoral Commission’s polling station walk-through at

If you have applied for a postal vote you will shortly receive your postal ballot paper pack. Please read the instructions carefully when completing the statement included with your ballot paper.

You can arrange for a proxy (someone else) to vote on your behalf if you are incapacitated or unable to attend a polling station in person.

The last day for registering as a proxy voter is Thursday 21st April.

All eligible electors should have already received a polling card informing them where their polling station is and how to cast their vote.

The count for the borough council election takes place overnight on Thursday 5th May and for the town council and AV referendum on Friday 6th May.

The referendum will ask voters to choose their preferred voting system in future General Elections.

Voters will be asked whether they want AV to be adopted or whether they want to keep the current ‘first past the post’ system.

The Alternative Vote sees voters rank candidates in order of preference in single constituencies.

Instead of putting one solitary ‘X‘ on the ballot paper voters can give their order of preference for as few or as many candidates as they like.

If a candidate receives a majority of first-preference votes (more people put them as number one than all the rest combined) then they are elected.

If no candidate gains a majority on first preferences then the second-preference votes of the candidate who finished last on the first count are redistributed. This process is repeated until someone gets over 50 per cent.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Rob Tinlin, said: “Elections are an essential part of the democratic process.

“I urge all those who are eligible to vote to make every effort to do so. This is where everyone can play their part to make sure their views are represented.

“These forthcoming elections on Thursday 5th May are especially important. Not only is it the chance to vote in the local council election but it is also a vital opportunity to decide on the future system of voting in General Elections.”

For further information on postal or proxy voting please contact Louisa Robinson, Southend-on- Sea Borough Council’s Electoral Officer, on 01702-215117.

About the Author

Claire T

Member since: 10th July 2012

I am the very proud owner of thebestofsouthend. My aim is to really shout about why Southend is so great & champion our local business owners who do a really great job!
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