There has been a lot of speculation recently as to when we might expect a General Election; whilst one has to be held by January 2025, when precisely it happens is a decision only one person can take – the King, though he will be guided by the Prime Minister.

At Tendring District Council we stand by to deliver the smooth, safe and secure running of elections whenever they might be called.

That could be a General Election, where people vote for their MPs; it could be scheduled elections as we have for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner coming up in May; or it could be a by-election, as we had in the Bluehouse ward of Clacton.

A lot of work goes on year-round to prepare for elections, to make sure our elections are free, fair and in accordance with the law.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Ian DavidsonIan Davidson

Though it is our job to make sure elections run properly, there are some small and simple tasks everyone can take to help maintain our democracy.

First, make sure you are registered to vote.

You can do this year-round, so do not leave it to the last minute before an election.

The vast majority of adults in this country are eligible to vote with it only taking a few minutes to register online.

It is also worth remembering that 16 and 17-year-olds should also have their details on the electoral register.

Once you are registered, keep your details up-to-date.

We complete a check every year, called canvass, usually in the Summer and Autumn.

Look out for the letter to your household and correct any details that need updating for those eligible to vote.

Finally, check you have your prescribed form of photographic identity ready for when you go to vote.

If you vote in person at a polling station then you need to show a form of ID so take it with you; not everything is valid so check the list, but a UK passport, driving licence, Blue Badge or older persons’ bus pass will do.

If you do not have a prescribed form of photo ID, then apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate.

New postal voters also now need to have their identity checked and all existing postal voters will need to from 2026.

So, whatever your politics, make sure you have your say when elections come round, and make your vote count.