ON MOST days of the year heading to the pub at 7am would likely be frowned upon.
However, on May 22 that is exactly what some people will be doing as they go to vote in the forthcoming local and European elections.
A pub is just one of the many locations at which polling stations can be found. Others include schools and community centres and there will even be one in the Winners Lounge at the County Ground.
Some Priory Vale voters will be heading to the Tawny Owl pub while a number of schools, including Lydiard Park Academy and Goddard Park Primary, will also be used.
In total, there will be 94 polling stations around the town, all of which will be open from 7am until 10pm as people cast their votes.
The Central Community Centre, in the Railway Village, is regularly used for elections.
Sean Haines, who is the community development officer said: “This is very exciting for me as it is my first year here. I have heard that traditionally this community centre is very busy during elections.
“I think it’s because a lot of people care about their community and use it as an opportunity to have their say.
“Over the two days around the election we pretty much hand over the entire centre to those who are running it. It is not that big a centre so we can’t really run as normal.
“Local elections are very important so that is not a problem.
“There is also the added advantage that it brings a lot of people to the community centre so they can see what it is we do.”
On the day of the election, a team of 500 will be manning the polling stations and then counting all the votes at the end of the day.
Sally Sprason is in charge of the team which must make sure everything runs smoothly on the day.
She said: “This is a very busy time as we have to make sure every polling station is open and properly manned but it is also fun. We have to find a polling station within each district that is convenient.”
Sally has also warned that time is running out for people to register in the votes, with the deadline being on May 6.
She said: “I would tell people not to leave it until polling day before finding out whether they are registered to vote.
“It is important people use this opportunity to vote and have their say in Swindon and Europe. If people have not yet registered they can download a form or ring us and we will send one out.”
If you have not yet registered to vote call 01793 404601 or visit www.swindon.gov.uk/cd/cd-democracy.