This week on election day as the polling stations were preparing to close their doors, seal the ballot boxes and sending the to the count a small group of dedicated campaigners gathered outside the count location in Southend-on-Sea to raise continued awareness of the campaign to #SaveSouthendA&E
The group with consent from the local constabulary gathered close to the main entrance to welcome candidates and supporters and also spoke with the local press. The opportunity resulted in most candidates and supporters entering the count displaying a #SaveSoutbend sticker and with many taking leaflets and posters to display at home.
Once the majority of candidates had arrived and entered the count and when the flow of ballot boxes ceased the group moved inside to the third floor bar where some time was spent observing the mechanics of the count from a distance and conversing with candidates and their supporters.
The count is a long process; before the votes can be counted the contents of the ballot boxes first have to be verified; count staff will be counting the number of ballot papers on the count after this is complete, then they will count the votes on the ballot papers.
The was a general good atmosphere with the campaign group conversing across the parties; although the parties themselves on the whole kept distanced from each other.
This was not as side of the political process I had witnessed before but proved to be an interesting experience. The group stayed until past midnight and then departed to leave the candidates and the counters to the business of the night.