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Polling district and polling places review

To ensure that all electors have reasonable facilities for voting, we are inviting you to make comments and representations so that we can review our polling districts and places by 31 January 2020. The reviews take place at least one every five years, and are in accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983.

Further information

When will the review take place?

The review commenced on Monday 12 August and the first public consultation period closed on Friday 6 September. The Acting Returning Officer will consider all comments and representations received and publish proposals on Monday 30 September. A second public consultation period will begin on 30 September.

What does it involve?

The review must be carried out to make sure that all electors have reasonable facilities for voting. A notice will be published when the review starts, and will state where comments or representations can be made.

Who can comment or make a representation?

Any elector in the constituency may make a representation in relation to the size and boundaries of polling districts and the location and suitability of polling places. We also welcome comments or representations from any councillors in the area, past or potential candidates, local political parties and indeed any person or body with expertise in access for persons with any type of disability.

What happens after the review?

Once the review is completed, we will publish documents and results, including any issues raised and any changes which have been approved, giving the reasons for its decisions. 

What is a polling district?

A polling district is a geographical sub-division of an electoral area.

For voting purposes, each parliamentary constituency and every local government ward is divided into one or more polling district. Wherever possible, the polling districts for local government elections mirror that agreed for parliamentary elections. Leicester City has 21 wards divided up into polling districts, which vary in size and electorate.

What is a polling place?

A polling place is a geographical area in which a polling station is located. However, there is no legal definition of what a polling place is. It could be as large as the polling district or as small as a particular building.

What is a polling station?

A polling station is where the voting actually takes place and must be located within the polling place designated for the particular polling district.

When deciding which buildings to use as polling stations, we try to make sure that they are located as conveniently as possible for the majority of electors and that they are accessible to everyone, particularly anyone with a disability.

Thought must be given, for example, to the distance people have to travel to vote and any barriers to them getting there, such as major roads or rivers.

Guidelines

The following considerations have been taken into account when allocating polling districts and polling places. Comments made during the consultation should keep these in mind. The first two are required by electoral law and the others are best practice:

  • We must seek to ensure that all electors have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances.
  • We must seek to ensure that so far as is reasonable and practicable every polling place is accessible to electors who are disabled.
  • Ideally, the polling place should be in its own polling district.
  • Where possible, "natural" boundaries should be used, e.g. railways, major roads, etc.
  • All properties in a minor road or estate should, ideally, be in the same polling district.
  • Polling places should be "logical”; that is, electors should not have to pass another polling place to get to their own.

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