Queues formed at Preston Town Hall today as people made a last minute bid to make sure they are registered to vote in the general election.
The city council’s leader Coun Peter Rankin tweeted: “Massive queues all day of people @prestoncouncil waiting to register to vote. All ages but mainly young people”
He told the Post: ”There have been a lot over the past couple of weeks but I’ve just seen for myself today just how many seem to be queueing up despite the fact you can register on line.”
He continued: “It’s fantastic..if it’s happening in Preston I’m sure it’s happening all over the country. Whichever political party you belong to it’s good to see people are exercising their right to vote because people died in the past for us to be able to vote.”
Staff at the council’s contact centre could not register individuals directly, but would-be voters were being guided to public access computers where they could sign up for themselves.
Meanwhile it seems part of the queue was also taken up by people queueing to register for meetings.
In neighbouring Ribble Valley the council reported a significant spike in registrations but added this was on line, not at the council building itself.
While at Chorley council a spokesman said: “We have noticed a spike. We had been getting 150ish a day in the run up to the election but we’ve had about 800 today.”
The council had also noted some duplication with people applying to vote who were already registered and did not need to sign up again.
At South Ribble Council an officer said “We have been pushing it (voter registration deadlines) quite a lot on social media. There has been a significant spike in recent days. Since Friday night we have had about 800 enquiries.”
The council estimates around a quarter of those enquiring may in fact already be registered.
• The deadline to register to vote is midnight tonight Monday May 22. You can still register at www.gov.uk/registertovote but the Electoral Commission is advising people to sign up as soon as possible and “not leave it until 10 minutes before midnight”.
• Anyone who was registered to vote at the EU Referendum and has not moved home, or has registered to vote at local elections in May, does not need to re-register in order to take part in the 2017 General Election.
• The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm tomorrow, Tuesday May 23.
• The deadline to apply for a proxy vote, where a voter nominates a trusted person to cast a vote on their behalf, is 5pm, Wednesday May 31.