The polling station is the place where you go to vote. It could be a school, hall, community centre or a portable cabin. Find your polling station.
If you are registered to vote at a polling station, you will get a poll card about five weeks before an election. The poll card tells you when the election is, and where your polling station is.
Marking your ballot paper - pencils or pens?
Ballot papers can be marked with a pencil or pen.
Pencils are usually provided inside polling stations for practical reasons, including:
ink pens may dry out or spill
when the voter folds the ballot paper, ink may transfer to elsewhere on the ballot paper - this could cause the vote to be rejected (for example, if it looks like they have voted for more candidates than allowed)
Pens are available from the Presiding Officer in the polling station, or you can bring your own pen with you.
There is legislation to prevent and detect tampering with ballot papers:
seals must be attached to ballot boxes
candidates and agents can be present at the close of poll and can attach their own seals if they wish
at the count, candidates and agents can check their seals before the ballot boxes are opened
If you have applied to vote by post, you will get a postal poll card about five weeks before an election. You will then get your postal voting pack about two weeks before election day.
When you get your postal vote, remove the contents from the outer envelope. The envelope will contain:
your ballot paper or papers
a postal voting statement, with the ballot paper envelope A attached
a return envelope marked B
On the postal voting statement, fill in your date of birth and signature (this is to prevent fraud - you have already given these when you completed your postal application form)
Read the instructions on the top of both ballot papers and mark a cross against the candidate or candidates you wish to vote for (with a pen or pencil)
Fold the ballot paper(s) and put them into envelope A
Moisten the purple strip and seal the envelope, with the postal voting statement still attached
Put the ballot paper envelope and postal voting statement into the return envelope B
Post your postal voting pack as soon as possible to make sure it is received before election day.
If you forget to post your postal voting pack, you can hand it in at any polling station in South Tyneside on election day.
United Response, a charity that provides support to people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs have produced a website explaining how to vote and information for electors and candidates.