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Polling District, Polling Places and Polling Stations Review 2023


Under the Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places (Parliamentary Elections) Regulations 2006 and the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, all local authorities are required to review their polling districts, polling places, and polling stations every fifth year. The review period starts in October, and each authority may choose the exact dates and length of their review; however it must fall within a 16 month period. The compulsory review period is from October 2023 to January 2025.

The review requires the council to:

  • Seek to ensure that all the electors in the constituency have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances.
  • Seek to ensure that so far as is reasonable and practicable, the polling places they are responsible for are accessible to all electors, and when considering the designation of a polling place, must have regard to the accessibility needs of disabled persons.

Notice of Review of Polling Districts & Polling Places 2023

Why Undertake the Review in 2023

As a result of the recent Boundary Commission for England review, the parliamentary constituencies covered by the Dover district are changing.  Further information on the BCE review and forthcoming changes can be found on the Boundary Commission for England website.

In light of BCE’s review, the need to hold a UK Parliamentary General Election before 28 January 2025 and the legislation referred to above, the Council carried out a review of its polling districts, polling places and polling stations in 2023 to ensure that elections can be delivered successfully and that voting facilities are convenient and accessible for electors.


We invited both initial representations to the proposals and comments regarding those representations.  These had to be submitted by 23 October 2023 and 13 November 2023 respectively.

We were interested in views from residents, particularly people who may have a view on disabled access to polling stations.  We contacted some specific groups in the district who may have views on access issues.

All relevant submissions received before the deadline were considered as part of the review and can be viewed below.

Conclusion of Review

All representations received were considered at the Electoral Matters Committee on 20 November 2023.  Recommendations from the Committee were then put to Council on 29 November 2023. All documents sent / received in connection with this review can be viewed below

Electoral Matters Committee - 18 September 2023- Agenda and Minutes

Extraordinary Council Meeting - 29 November 2023- Agenda and Minutes

Report to Electoral Matters Committee - 18 September 2023

Report to Council - 29 November 2023

Appendix 1- Current and Proposed Polling District Scheme

Appendix 2- Proposed Changes to Polling District Boundaries

Appendix 3- Existing Polling District Boundaries (Part 1)

Appendix 3- Existing Polling District Boundaries (Part 2)

Appendix 4 - Responses received to the consultation

Appendix 5 -Summary of Proposed Changes

All correspondence sent as part of the 2023 review

All responses received as part of the 2023 review


Useful Information

Please note that the following is not considered as part of the review:

  • The changing of any district ward boundaries (which can only be done by statute following an electoral review carried out by the Local Government Boundary Commission). This review is concerned only with the administrative subdivision of a ward into polling districts which are then assigned polling places.
  • The changing of polling districts in areas which are also aligned with parish boundaries and therefore cannot be amended during this review (these can only be amended during a Community Governance Review).




Meeting of Electoral Matters Committee

18 September 2023

Formal launch of Review with Public Notice, Letter to Political Parties, (Acting) Returning Officer (DDC and CCC), MP’s, District Councillors, Town and Parish Clerks and age and disability groups.

2 October 2023

Deadline for initial representations

23 October 2023

Publication of ARO’s Submission

Publication of representations received and further consultation period

30 October 2023

End of second consultation period

13 November 2023

Report to Electoral Matters Committee

20 November 2023

Final report to Council

29 November 2023

Publication of review result & all representations

1 December 2023

Publication of Register of Electors

1 December 2023


Explanation of terms

Parliamentary Constituency

The area designated by the Boundary Commission which is represented by a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons. This cannot be changed by this review.

District Wards

The District is divided into areas known as “Wards” which are represented by District Councillors. Ward boundaries cannot be changed by this review – it is the division of the wards into polling districts and polling places that is under review.

Polling Districts

A polling district is the area created by the separation of a ward into smaller parts, within which a polling place can be determined that is most suitable for the electors.  Each parish must be its own polling district unless there are special circumstances; for example if the parish/community has only a small number of electors and it is not practicable for the parish/community to be its own polling district.  Town/parish boundaries cannot be altered as part of this review.

Polling Places

A polling place is the building or area in which the polling stations will be selected by the (Acting) Returning Officer.  It can be a complete polling district, but the polling place should be an area small enough to easily recognise where the polling station is.  If a polling district contains no suitable polling places, a polling station in an adjoining polling district becomes the polling place.

Polling Stations

A polling station is the actual room where you cast your vote - usually a room in a building such as a village hall or school. Sometimes there are two polling stations in a polling place due to a particularly large number of electors in the polling district, or because there are no suitable polling places in an adjoining polling district.

Selecting Polling Stations

The principal factor for selecting polling stations is the suitability within a district for the majority of the electorate, and its accessibility.  The use of schools as polling stations is avoided wherever possible. The decision for polling stations is made by the (Acting) Returning Officer for Parliamentary elections and the Returning Officer for local government elections.