RESIDENTS are being encouraged to register to vote and decide on their method of voting ahead of elections next year.

Dorset residents will vote to elect councillors for county, town and parish councils as well as the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner on May 2, 2024.

Anyone who has moved homes or changed their names since the last annual canvass should update these details before the polls open.

After registering to vote, the public should then choose a method to vote, either in person, by post or by proxy.

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Applications to vote by post and by proxy are now open on the Dorset Council website and must be made by 5pm on Wednesday, April 17.

Alternatively, an application form can be downloaded from the Electoral Commission website.

Those voting by post will receive a pack at their address a few weeks before the election.

Anyone voting in person must take a photo ID to the polling station.

Jonathan Mair, director of legal and democratic at Dorset Council, said: “Councillors play a key role in Dorset and are the voice of the community, representing local people.

“They help shape future services by collectively carrying out policy-making and contributing to the formation and scrutiny of the council’s policies, budget and strategies. By representing the views of local people, councillors ensure that local interests are heard.”