COUNCIL chiefs have moved to ensure residents are election ready as voters prepare to go to the polls twice in the coming months.

It comes after Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap general election for Thursday, June 8, a move confirmed on Wednesday following a vote by MPs.

Residents will be asked to vote for the person to represent them in Parliament for the next five years.

Current Conservative MPs Richard Drax (South Dorset) and Sir Oliver Letwin (West Dorset) are both expected to stand.

The next general election was not expected until 2020.

But Mrs May said the snap election was an opportunity to secure “strong and stable leadership” for Britain as it forges a new position outside the European Union.

Details will be announced soon for people to register for postal or proxy voting.

People unsure of whether they are registered to vote should contact their local council.

Venues hosting the counts in South and West Dorset are yet to be confirmed.

Dorset is also set to go to the polls on May 4 to elect members of the county council, and this is still due to take place.

Voting registration ended on April 13 and polling cards have been sent out.

There are no elections this year for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council or West Dorset District Council – however a by-election for the borough council’s Westham East ward only will also be held on May 4. This follows the resignation of Cllr Sally Maslin of the Lib Dems.

Regarding the Future Dorset proposals, the shake-up of local authorities to create new ‘super councils’, it is likely that the timing of the government’s announcement on this will be impacted by the general election.

A borough council spokesman added that the local elections team has seen a huge increase in people offering to help at the next round of elections.

He said: “We have a full allocation of people who can support at both polling stations and the count.

“If you are already working in May at a polling station or count then is likely that you will be working again and we will contact you with more details.”