Video thumbnail, Election 2015 polling station at Upton scout hut
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The polling stations are open for the 2015 general and local elections in the Cheshire West and Chester area.

And already social media is busy with comments from local people as they prepare to vote or, in some cases, after they vote.

The first comment on The Chronicle's Facebook page today came from Julia Murphy who fears there could be confusion over which ballot box to use for which ballot paper.

Ballot box concern

Voters turning up at polling stations will be presented with a white ballot paper for the general election and coloured papers for the borough and parish elections.

After putting their crosses in the boxes, they will be asked to place the white one in one ballot box and the coloured papers in a second box but Julia does not feel the difference between the boxes is clear.

The polling station at Guilden Sutton Village Hall
The polling station at Guilden Sutton Village Hall

She said: “Beware voters! In my polling station, there were two boxes, one for local elections, and one for the general election.

“I was given two cards, one yellow and one white. They told me to put the yellow card in the box with yellow on it. However they were referring to a piece of paper stuck to the side of the box.

“I looked at the top of the box where you post your card. The general election box has a white sheet of paper stuck to the top with a yellow border, so I assumed that the yellow card went in there. NO! It was rescued just in time.

“If I had posted my cards in the wrong boxes, my general election vote would have been lost, as those boxes won’t be opened until much later. I think it’s going to be an easy mistake to make, especially when the polling stations get busy.”

We received a tweet from BloodRed-LFC commenting: "Frst time voters could be confused. No information given at polling station."

'I'm not voting'

Bot others did not feel this was an issue including cheshiregooner who said: "Ones black, ones yellow. Not that hard really."

Some people have contacted us to say they won't be troubling the polling stations at all.

Russell Phillips of Elton tweeted: "I'm not voting. I've seen enough elections to know nothing changes."

His views were echoed by Scott Muirhead who said: "Not voting. Give me someone/something to believe in."

Frustration not apathy

Russell later expanded on his view via email: "The main reasons i'm choosing not to vote are that:

"I doubt the integrity of today's politicians. I don't believe they really have anyone but their own interest at heart.

"Many of the important issues regarding our country are now being managed by multi-national corporations. For example, the TTIP discussions that are continuing in Brussels are a major threat to UK consumers but didn't get mentioned in the election debates.

"None of the politicians is addressing the issues that matter to me personally. I am 56 and am not now able to get what I would call a proper job. My life is now one minimum wage temporary job after another.

"The national issues that matter to me are the re-nationalisation of the railways and utilities, but the Labour Party is afraid of openly discussing this with the electorate, as they know it makes an easy target for the Tories.

"I am also concerned about freedom of speech, civil liberties and the protection of journalists, but again this is something that is not being discussed in the campaign, probably because there is a general consensus towards more authoritarian control.

"The parties are not prepared to have a sensible debate about the economy. The city and the bankers have too much influence over economic and business policy and main parties are happy to allow this to continue.

"In five years time the political landscape will be largely the same and little progress will have been made. Nothing changes.

"It is not about apathy. It's about frustration at the broken system we continue to legitimise by playing this game."

Candidate casts her vote

So far the only parliamentary candidate to have sent us a photograph of them casting their vote is Katherine Fletcher who is standing for the Conservative Party in Ellesmere Port and Neston.

Katherine Fletcher encourages Conservative voters in Ellesmere Port and Neston
Katherine Fletcher encourages Conservative voters in Ellesmere Port and Neston

She tweeted: "Katherine Fletcher encourages Conservative voters here in #EllesmerePort."

Leaflet objection

Most people might be looking forward to the flood of election leaflets coming to an end, especially John Bottomley who found a distasteful one waiting for him this morning at his Chester city centre home.

He told us on Facebook: "Annoyed to wake up today to find unsigned leaflet on doormat screaming 'Do Not Vote For Councillor Dixon'.

"There's stuff in there voters could find agreement with but whoever cobbled it together should be brave enough to name themselves.

"And criticising her for fighting to stop new bars and restaurants and then shoving this flier through the doors of people living in the shadow of the Pepper Street 'restaurant quarter' behemoth is an enormous own goal."