Apr 6 2012 by Craig Robertson, Dumfries Standard Friday
EVERYONES got an opinion on what should or shouldnt be done in their local area.
But theres no point in moaning if you dont do anything about it.
On Thursday, May 3, Dumfries and Galloway will go to the polls to elect 47 councillors to the 13 wards across the region.
And everyone aged 18 or over is being encouraged to get involved and influence the decisions which are taken where they live.
If youre not registered to vote, you can still do so by completing a registration form by April 18.
These are available by calling the council or by printing off a form at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
Its thought many people who have moved house since the last election may not have ensured their details on the voters roll is still accurate.
You can also vote by proxy or by post with details available from the same place.
The regions returning officer Alex Haswell told the Standard: It is important that everyone votes and takes part in the council elections but people who want to vote need to make sure that they are registered.
Weve often had people turning up to vote and not being in the register and unfortunately they havent been able to cast their vote.
Mr Haswell, who has been involved in elections since the 1970s, is leading a team of more than 500 staff who have been preparing for months for polling day on May 3.
They will be spread across polling stations, driving vans and counting the votes.
However, in a change to tradition the official count will be done they day after on May 4 taking away some of the excitement of a count going on through the night and an early morning announcement of the winners and the losers.
Mr Haswell said: It is no secret that when we were canvassed over when the count should take place, I was one of the returning officers who was happy to see it go on overnight probably because I have been in the habit of it being done overnight.
I will have staff who will be doing the preliminary work on the votes till 3am anyway and myself and the counting team will be back into the Easterbrook Hall at 8am to start the count.
The results for the individual wards will be announced through the morning with a final overall result expected early afternoon.