Election staff at the ready as countdown to big day begins

Ipswich council staff ready for the off

IPSWICH: Election staff in Ipswich are all set for polling day as they prepare for both the general and borough council elections on Thursday.

Acting returning officer Russell Williams – the council’s interim chief executive – is in charge of the election on behalf of the returning officer, Ipswich mayor David Goldsmith.

There are 72 polling stations in the borough at 67 locations and each station will have a presiding officer and a poll clerk.

Each polling station with have two boxes and voters will be handed two ballot papers – white for the General Election and yellow for the council contests and election staff will ensure they are put in the correct box.

When polls close at 10pm, the boxes will be taken to the Corn Exchange where a check will be made that the number of votes in the box tally with the votes recording by polling station staff.

The borough council election papers will be re-sealed and taken to a secure location in preparation for the count on Friday, starting at 11am.

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Counting staff will then count the parliamentary ballot papers and, if there is no recount, the result should be known after 2am

There will be 48 counting assistants plus team leaders under the direction of Mr Williams, who is directing the count on behalf of the Department of Justice.

“There are no rules governing recounts,” says Mr Williams. “It is at the discretion of the acting returning officer, who will judge if the majority for the winning candidate is deemed to be within the margin of error.”

If the mayor attends the count, he has the right to announce the result, or leave it to Mr Williams to do.

Ballot boxes in the Suffolk Central & Ipswich North constituency will be sent to Stowmarket for verification.

The General Election votes will be added to those from parts of Mid Suffolk and Suffolk, and the borough council election boxes returned to Ipswich to be counted on Friday.

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