Voting underway in elections and AV referendum

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VOTERS go to the polls today across the area to elect new councils in Mansfield, Ashfield, Bolsover and Newark & Sherwood.

And in Mansfield, residents will be also taking part in the district’s third mayoral election - while householders in all three areas will be voting in the AV Referendum.

The arrival of polling day brings to a close weeks of campaigning for candidates battling to win the support of voters.

In Mansfield, five candidates will be fighting it out to become the new mayor - with sitting incumbent Tony Egginton, of the Mansfield Independent Forum, running against Labour’s Steve Yemm, Anna Ellis, of the Liberal Democrats, Conservative Victor Bobo and David Hamilton, of the UK Independence Party.

But this year voters in Mansfield district will also be voting in unfamiliar surroundings after a review of polling stations by Mansfield District Council - with the overall number increasing from 68 to 70.

And for the first time, the council is adopting a new single ward member system - which means there will be just one councillor for each of the district’s 36 new smaller wards.

The system replaces the current 19 wards, which each have two or three councillors, and will lead to the number of councillors reduced from 46 to 36.

Many of the wards also have new names.

In addition to the local and mayoral elections, voters will be also taking part in the national AV referendum.

The referendum will ask folk if they want to stick with the first past the post system to elect an MP or switch to the Alternative Vote (AV) system.

For more details on voting in the referendum, visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.

Meanwhile, Mansfield Council chiefs say folk who have not sent off their postal vote can return their papers to their local polling station or Mansfield Civic Centre today. No postal votes can be accepted after 10pm today.

l Residents can follow all the action as it happens when the votes are counted and the results declared at Mansfield’s mayoral and council elections tomorrow (Friday).

The count, including all the results, will be broadcast live here at chad.co.uk and also on the council’s website, www.mansfield.gov.uk, for the first time.

The live internet streaming of the count will take place from around noon - with the result of the mayoral poll expected to be announced between 1.30-2.30pm and the results of the 36 council seats expected to be declared at regular intervals between 3.30-6.30pm.