Don’t you just love elections? Hope, fear, ambition, trepidation, elation, dejection. And this is just me and all my colleagues who play a part in the election process.
Thursday 5th May 2016 is an important election date in the history of Colchester borough and Greater Essex. This May we have all borough Council seats up for grabs. We currently have 60 councillors in the borough, but we are reducing to 51 councillors in 17 revised wards, with three councillor seats in each ward.
So your ballot paper will look different this year. You will be allowed, up to and including, three votes as there are three councillor seats available. Just put your cross against a maximum of three candidates, for us to count your choices. You don’t have to vote for three; one or two is fine, but you are allowed three and I would urge you to use all three. However, the choice is yours.
Please don’t vote for four or more candidates, as your ballot paper will be seen as spoilt.
So, an example ballot paper:
Got it? Good. Let me worry about how we count your votes! Just remember, the 51 councillors elected will take decisions on your behalf about the services we provide, the resources we use, and the direction the borough takes. Remember though, we don’t do schools, social care, or highways and potholes. You will have to wait for the 2017 elections for Essex County Council to determine which councillors take those decisions on your behalf.
Two for the price of one
On 5th May, not only do you get to vote in the Colchester Borough Council elections but you also get to vote for the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner. It is a different way of voting in this election. Here you will receive a ballot paper with five candidates and you choose your 1st choice candidate and your 2nd choice candidate. So in the first column mark your 1st choice candidate. In the second column mark your 2nd choice candidate.
So, an example ballot paper:
Got it? Good. Let me worry about how we count your votes!
So, for the 5th May 2016 elections, you will receive two ballot papers…
One for the 51 borough councillor seats being contested, where you get up to three votes for three different candidates. Those three councillors will represent you in the ward in which you live.
Then you will get an Essex Police and Crime Commissioner ballot paper, where you can vote for your 1st choice candidate (in column 1) and for your 2nd choice candidate (in column 2).
If you have not received a poll card you may not be on the register, so please call 01206 282820 to check
If you need to register go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, provide us with the necessary information, and do it by the 18 April at the latest. After that we can’t register you and you can’t vote.
For my part, I promise to count all your votes (if valid) and announce the 51 borough councillors as soon as I can in the early hours of Friday morning.
I will also announce the new Essex Police and Crime Commissioner late afternoon on the Friday. To see more information on the Police and Crime Commissioner election, visit: www.choosemypcc.org.uk or www.colchester.gov.uk/elections