DUDLEY Council elections are a major undertaking but with all 72 council seats on the 2024 ballot paper the statistics are staggering.

Polling day is on Thursday May 2 and while politicians will be hoping for as many votes as possible the numbers game is much bigger.

Across the borough’s 24 council wards there will be 173 polling stations with 577 staff and 24 supervisors making sure the election is conducted correctly.

Each ward will return three councillors from a total of 217 candidates, on the same day voters will also be asked to choose the next West Midlands Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner.

The three elections mean a total of 702,000 ballot papers have been printed which will go into one of the 404 ballot boxes to be used in the elections.

People will be able to complete their ballot papers using one of the 1,400 pencils provided for voting, in one of the 974 polling booths used on the day.

More than 12,000 signs and notices have been produced for polling stations and 346 magnifiers, 346 pencil grips and 1,730 coloured dyslexia sheets will be available for voters who need them.

Dudley has an electorate of 233,007 and by April 1 there had been 39,355 applications for postal votes.

When voting closes at 10pm one of 2,076 seals will be used to secure ballot boxes for transportation to the count at the Crystal Leisure Centre in Stourbridge, where 230 staff will begin the job of ensuring every ballot paper issued has arrived.

Usually Dudley counts votes overnight but due to the large number of candidates this year, usually Dudley only elects a third of councillors at a time, counting by 190 staff will not begin until the morning of May 3.

A final result for the council election will not be known until late afternoon, the mayoral and crime commissioner votes will be counted on May 4.