Postal voting a big success

POSTAL voting looks set to be a big success in South Lakeland.

With polling due to close Thursday, voters across the North West have proved the doubters wrong by pulling out all the stops to return their postal ballot forms for the crucial European Parliament elections.

In South Lakeland, experts are predicting that postal voting should also help boost turnout.

The successes have come in spite of initial problems getting ballot papers printed and posted on time in some parts of the North West, and predictions that the large-scale postal voting experiment would prove to be a failure.

By Friday last week, and with six days still to go to the close of polling tomorrow, the North West turnout had already surpassed the 19.5 per cent total turn out in the 1999 Euro elections.

Sir Howard Bernstein, returning officer for European elections across the North West region, said: "It is evident that the postal pilot has increased turnout for both European and local elections which is good news."

South Lakeland already has a tradition of a high turnout in local elections. Last year, when a handful of South Lakeland District Council seats were up for grabs, around 39 per cent of the electorate turned up at polling stations to cast their votes almost double the 22 per cent who bothered to vote in local elections for Manchester last year.

Electoral services officer at SLDC Claire Wheatman said: "We are always quite good here and we always get a reasonable turnout for the local elections but I suspect it might be a little higher this year. We won't know for sure until we get to the end on June 10."

Eighteen seats, including Grange-over-Sands, Milnthorpe, Natland, and six in Ulverston, are being contested on SLDC. Electors in parts of Furness will choose ten members to sit on Barrow Borough Council, while voters across the North West, from Cheshire to the Scottish border, will also choose nine MEPs to represent the region in Brussels and Strasbourg.

Votes in the local council elections will be counted and results announced at Kendal Leisure Centre.

Polling closes in the European Parliament election tomorrow, but results will not be available until the night of June 13 when elections are finished in all 25 EU member states.

l The Westmorland Gazette will publish the results of the SLDC elections soon after they are declared Thursday POSTAL voting looks set to be a big success in South Lakeland.

With polling due to close tomorrow (Thursday), voters across the North West have proved the doubters wrong by pulling out all the stops to return their postal ballot forms for the crucial European Parliament elections.

In South Lakeland, experts are predicting that postal voting should also help boost turnout.

The successes have come in spite of initial problems getting ballot papers printed and posted on time in some parts of the North West, and predictions that the large-scale postal voting experiment would prove to be a failure. By Friday last week, and with six days still to go to the close of polling tomorrow, the North West turnout had already surpassed the 19.5 per cent total turn out in the 1999 Euro elections.

Sir Howard Bernstein, returning officer for European elections across the North West region, said: "It is evident that the postal pilot has increased turnout for both European and local elections which is good news."

South Lakeland already has a tradition of a high turnout in local elections. Last year, when a handful of South Lakeland District Council seats were up for grabs, around 39 per cent of the electorate turned up at polling stations to cast their votes almost double the 22 per cent who bothered to vote in local elections for Manchester last year.

Electoral services officer at SLDC Claire Wheatman said: "We are always quite good here and we always get a reasonable turnout for the local elections but I suspect it might be a little higher this year. We won't know for sure until we get to the end on June 10."

Eighteen seats, including Grange-over-Sands, Milnthorpe, Natland, and six in Ulverston, are being contested on SLDC. Electors in parts of Furness will choose ten members to sit on Barrow Borough Council, while voters across the North West, from Cheshire to the Scottish border, will also choose nine MEPs to represent the region in Brussels and Strasbourg.

Votes in the local council elections will be counted and results announced at Kendal Leisure Centre.

Polling closes in the European Parliament election tomorrow, but results will not be available until the night of June 13 when elections are finished in all 25 EU member states.

The Westmorland Gazette will publish the results of the SLDC elections soon after they are declared Thursday night, on our website www.thisisthelake district.co.uk/news-elections04.

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