Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 13:56 UK
Postal voters in Telford and Wrekin hit a record high
Election 2010 BBC logo
The general election will be held on Thursday, 6 May 2010

Record numbers of people in Telford and Wrekin have opted to vote by post in the general election on 6 May.

Telford and Wrekin Council said the number of postal voters in the two constituencies will exceed 41,000.

That equates to about a third of voters and is one of the highest rates of postal voting in the country.

In the rest of Shropshire, more than 33,000 people have applied for a postal vote, about 15% of those registered to take part in the election.

Simon Alton from Shropshire Council said: "It cannot compare the figure to previous elections because records relate to individual borough and district councils rather than Shropshire Council."

Communications Manager for Telford and Wrekin Council Nigel Newman said: "The council took part in a pilot a few years ago, where all voting was by post, since then there's been a higher than average take up of postal voting."

Ballot papers have been sent out to postal voters in Telford and Wrekin Council and the authority is advising voters to return their forms as soon as possible, but no counting of votes will take place until the polls close at 10pm on Thursday, 6 May.

Acting returning officer for Telford and Wrekin Council Victor Brownlees said: I am pleased to see that postal voting seems more popular than ever with voters in the two constituencies."

There are three ways you can vote: In person at a polling station, by post and by proxy. The deadline for applying to vote by post was Thursday 20 April.

Election Facts
To vote you must be aged 18 or over and on the electoral roll
You must be resident in the UK and a citizen of either the Commonwealth which includes British crown dependencies and British overseas territories or a citizen of the European Union
The deadline for registering is 11 working days before the day of the election
Local councils are responsible for keeping this up to date every year
Students can be on the register at their term-time address as well as their home address, but no one can vote more than once in an election
You don't have to have a fixed address to vote
Whenever you change your address you have to register, even if you move next door

The last date for registering your intention to vote by proxy (getting someone else to vote on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself) is six days before the election, 27 April.

In the case of a medical emergency on the grounds of unforeseen physical incapacity, a special Proxy Application Form can be received up until 5pm on the day of the poll.

Polling day

Voting on the 6 May will take place at 342 polling stations across the county, 94 in the Ludlow constituency, 86 in North Shropshire, 82 in the Telford and Wrekin constituencies and 80 in Shrewsbury & Atcham.

The most unusual polling station is thought to be the Tollhouse Museum in Ironbridge.

The votes will be counted and verified once the polls close at 10pm. The counting is taking place at Ludlow Leisure Centre, Whitchurch Civic Centre, Shrewsbury Sports Village and Telford College of Arts and Technology (TCAT).

According to the two Shropshire unitary authorities, the first results are expected to come from the Telford, Wrekin and Shrewsbury counts, with North Shropshire a little later and Ludlow likely to be last to declare at about 6am.




SEE ALSO
Shropshire constituencies guide
07 Apr 10 |  People & Places
Officer's election fear for young
22 Mar 10 |  Shropshire
Timetable to Election 2010
06 Apr 10 |  Election 2010

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