Facts and figures for Rochester and Strood by-election

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News from Medway Matters

As residents of Rochester and Strood gear up to have their say on Thursday, Medway Council is working hard to organise and run the parliamentary by-election that is taking place.

With 79,163 people registered to vote, the 50 designated polling stations manned by 160 staff are set to be bustling come 7am on 20 November.

Seventeen percent of the registered electorate, which is equivalent to 13,275 people, are registered for postal votes and there are 341 proxy voters.

After polls close at10pm on Thursday, ballot papers will be taken in sealed ballot boxes to Medway Park in Gillingham.

There, 80 count staff will have the huge task of wading through the ballot papers.

The declaration is expected to happen at around 3.30am and the High Sheriff of Kent, Hugo Fenwick, will make the announcement as Returning Officer.

More than 100 members of the media are set to attend with local, national and international newspaper, television, radio and Internet journalists coming from far and wide to report the night.

National broadcasters are intending to run live coverage throughout the night to keep people informed of events.

Neil Davies, the Chief Executive of Medway Council, is the Acting Returning Officer and is responsible for planning and coordinating the by-election.

He will also make the declaration for a local council by-election for Peninsula ward, as people from there will be able to vote during Thursday at their local polling station to decide who they want to represent them at Medway Council as a local councillor.

Mr Davies said: “The parliamentary and local council by-elections being held are very important and we expect there to be a high turn out at the polling stations this Thursday. Those who want to have their say need to visit one of the 50 polling stations and cast their vote between 7am and 10pm.

“Arranging an event on this scale requires careful planning and coordination, and an extraordinary amount of work goes on behind the scenes to prepare for polling day and the count.

“Officers at Medway Council have been planning for some time to get everything in place and I would like to thank them for all their hard work.”

People will also be voting in the Peninsula ward by election on Thursday with 10,802 registered voters taking to nine polling stations to have their say.

The Penninsula ward declaration will take place at around 1.30am.

Registered voters should have already started to receive their polling cards, but do not need to take them to their polling station to vote. Polling stations open for voting at 7am and close at 10pm.

To see a full list of candidates for both by-elections visit http://www.medway.gov.uk/elections

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