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SUNDAY POLLS WILL BOOST TURNOUT

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Moving polling day from Thursday to Sunday would boost local election turnouts, according to a study by the Local G...
Moving polling day from Thursday to Sunday would boost local election turnouts, according to a study by the Local Government Chronicle Elections Centre.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation commissioned the centre, at Plymouth University, to discover why Britain's local election turnout was the lowest in the European Union.

It unearthed a wide range of council practice, despite statutory requirements, and recommended a number of changes, including a polling day switch from Thursday to Sunday.

Other proposed changes, backed by a majority of local election officials, included:

-- A constantly updated electoral register instead of an annual update

-- Allowing electors to vote at any polling station within the local authority area, including booths in shopping centres

-- Providing facilities for people to vote before polling day

Many councils were sceptical that turnout could be improved by much. Some thought low turnouts were a national response to the reduced powers of local government and the poor public image of politicians.

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