Those old jokes about local authority overmanning and inefficiency back in the 1970s have no meaning any more judging by the military operation under way to count the Chester vote.
The gym at Northgate Arena is a hive of high vis activity as the 450 mainly council staff, in their fluorescent jackets, beaver away on the floor below supervised by nervous party workers.
There is still no sign of the four candidates Stephen Mosley (Conservative), who was elected MP in 2010, Chris Matheson (Labour), Bob Thompson (Lib Dem) and Steve Ingram (UKIP).
Chester is a marginal seat and a bell weather for how electors may vote across the country. This undoubtedly explains the presence of national media including Sky, the BBC and Granada - plus an anonymous representative from one of Chester's leading Twitter accounts.
Queen bee, but minus a yellow jacket, is Cheshire West and Chester Council chief executive Steve Robinson who is coordinating the organised chaos from the centre and occasionally via microphone on the main stage in his role as returning officer.
Press officer Ian Callister said the total potential electorate for the City of Chester constituency is 74,485.
The first postal votes arrived for sorting at 7pm and the first normal ballot box from Boughton Heath was in the building just 15 minutes after polls closed at 10pm.
He is predicting a 4am result but with a close race expected between the two front runners in Labour and Conservative, a recount is always on the cards.
Turn-out is thought to be 'good'. Independent council candidate John Ebo apparently reckons around 70%.
Lee Bradshaw for Labour's Chris Matheson is feeling positive about his man's chances and playing down national exit poll results forecasting the Tories as the largest party but with no overall control.
"The exit poll can do whatever it likes. We are focusing on Chester tonight," he said.
Simon Harris, for Conservatives, has been on the main floor mingling with party activists and councillors from all three main parties and possibly more.
He said the atmosphere in Chester was 'quite fantastic' with a lot of excitement in the room following a 'positive campaign' by all parties.
Mr Harris said the Tories were buoyed up by the exit polls, but added: "The only one that counts is the one that's going on behind me."
Breaking news: the verification of all postal votes is 'virtually complete' according to the returning officer.