Published: 00:01, 15 November 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
by political editor Paul Francis
Voters are going to the polls today to decide who will be Kent's first directly-elected police commissioner amid predictions of a record low turnout.
It is feared fewer than one in five people will vote because of a combination of low-profile election campaigns and confusion among residents.
An estimated 1,000 polling stations across all 13 local authority areas in the county will open from 7am to 10pm.
However, the votes will not be counted until Friday, with a result expected later in the afternoon at Dover town hall.
Six candidates are in the running for the £85,000-a-year post, which will see the commissioner replace the appointed Kent Police Authority in what has been described as one of the most far-reaching reforms of policing in a generation.
Whoever wins stands to become one of the most important elected officials in the county.
They will oversee the strategic direction of one of the country's largest forces and have responsibility for a £258million budget.
While the commissioner will not have day-to-day operational control of the force, they will have extensive and far-reaching powers - including setting the overall priorities for the police and deciding how much council taxpayers should have to pay to meet the force's running costs.
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.