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Guide to the local elections in Kent

Polling stations have opened today as residents vote for their representatives at the parishes and borough elections.

There are also two county council by-elections on the list in Sittingbourne and Gravesend.

You can follow the results as they come in from every area in the county on KentOnline throughout the day tomorrow, and you can follow the results of overnight counts in Dartford here, Medway here and Folkestone and Hythe here.

Voters have been going to the polls across Kent
Voters have been going to the polls across Kent

Look out for the hashtag #kentvote19.

If you still haven't cast your vote, here's a short list of the rules on what you can and can't do when you go to the polls.

1) There are no rules against being drunk at the polling station.

Some residents in Kent are lucky enough to get the chance to cast their vote at a pub and could even have a cheeky pint beforehand.

The only stipulation- they must not disturb other voters.

2) No selfies allowed

While there is no exact law against it, it is strongly discouraged by the Electoral Commission.

However it is illegal to reveal how you voted, which can easily happen if you get the angle wrong.

3) Only X marks the spot.

While you don't have to use the pencils given to you to mark your preferred candidate, the only marks accepted is a cross.

If you write any notes or legible signatures, this will be considered a spoilt ballot and won't be counted.

4) Registered voters over 18 are the only ones allowed to vote.

Unless you are in prison or you've been convicted of election fraud.

However if you're not British but an EU citizen, go ahead.

5) You don't have to go to the polling station alone.

Pets, children and friends came come with you to the polling station but you must be alone in the polling booth to make your mark.

Dogs are encouraged as it is trending on Twitter at #dogsatpollingstations.

6) You don't have to bring your poll card

You also don't need to bring your ID, just tell people your name and address to confirm your identity.

However there are 10 local authorities across the county that are part of a voter ID pilot so this may change in the future.

7) Hiding your face is not a problem

You won't be turned away from the polling station if you are wearing a head scarf or a hoodie. You may need to provide extra details to confirm your identity such as your address.

8) How long have I got?

Polling stations are open until 10pm.

9) Where do I vote?

It should be on your poll card but in case you didn't get one you can look up your polling station at wheredoivote.co.uk

10) What happens next?

Results will come out for Dartford, Medway and Folkestone and Hythe councils tonight. You can follow the results for Dartford here, Medway here and Folkestone and Hythe here.

The rest will be announced during the day on Friday, most expected by 5pm.

Keep up to date with all the local elections results on KentOnline.co.uk tomorrow.

For coverage of the 2019 local elections, click here.

Head to our politics page for expert analysis and all the latest news from your politicians and councils.

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