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Register to vote



  1. The annual canvass to update the Register of Electors
  2. How to register
  3. Who can register
  4. Reasons to register
  5. Check if you're already registered to vote
  6. When your details will be included on the Register of Electors

The annual canvass to update the Register of Electors

The Elections Team is currently preparing the new Register of Electors, which will be used from 1 December 2021 to 30 November 2022.

Between 23 July and 6 August we sent letters to homes across the Borough to help us to identify all those entitled to vote. The letter lists all the people living at the property that we currently have on the register of electors.

Please check the printed details, and instructions on who needs to respond, carefully. If you need to respond, please do this immediately.

The letter includes the web address and security codes you need to reply. Details of other ways to respond are printed on the letter.

We encourage you to respond online, where you will be able to:

  • amend a name
  • add the names and nationality of any new occupants
  • remove the names of those who no longer live at the address
  • confirm there are no changes needed
  • ask for a postal vote application form
  • make changes to the open register

Responding to the letter does not automatically register new occupiers to vote.  

From Monday 6 September, Council staff will be calling at the homes of people who needed to respond to the letter sent in July /August but haven't.

All Council staff calling at homes will wear an official identification badge, with their photograph printed on it, and the relevant protective equipment that may be required, for example a face mask or visor.

Where no contact can be made, staff will leave a pink card, urging householders to respond.

During the coronavirus pandemic it may be difficult to keep a safe distance from residents during face to face house calls. 

To prevent someone having to make face to face house calls, please respond to the letter immediately. This will help to keep you and your family safe and reduce the possibility of catching or spreading the virus.

How to register to vote

Register online

  • Go to
  • Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You'll also need your national insurance number, which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits.
  • Look out for a confirmation to say you're registered.

If you do not have access to the internet, phone us on 0191 427 7000. We can complete your application over the phone.

Information about how we handle your personal data is available in the Council's Privacy Notice - Electoral Services.

Who can register to vote

You can register to vote in the UK if you are:

  • a resident (usually live) in the UK, and
  • aged 16 or over (but you will not be able to vote until you are 18)

You must also be either:

  • a British, Irish or European Union citizen, or
  • a Commonwealth citizen who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK

Reasons to register to vote

To be able to vote in elections, you must be registered.

If you aren't registered to vote, you won't have the chance to have a say on who represents you.

Some people also register to vote because they want to apply for credit. Credit reference agencies use the Electoral Register to confirm where someone lives when they apply for credit to counteract fraud.

If you don't register to vote, you won't have a say at future elections and referendums. If you don't respond to requests for information from the Electoral Registration Office you could be at risk of getting fined £80.

Check if you're already registered to vote

To check if you are already registered, you can contact the Elections Office: 

The Elections Office
Town Hall and Civic Offices
Westoe Road
South Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE33 2RL

Phone: 0191 424 7230

When your details will be included on the Register of Electors

The following table gives the dates when you will be included on the register of electors depending when we receive your application.

Registration dates
Last day to apply to register to voteDate your details will be included on the Register of Electors
Friday 11 December 2020Monday 4 January 2021
Friday 8 January 2021Monday 1 February 2021
Friday 5 February 2021Monday 1 March 2021
Wednesday 10 March 2021Thursday 1 April 2021
Friday 26 March 2021Thursday 8 April 2021
Monday 19 April 2021Wednesday 28 April 2021
Monday 10 May 2021Tuesday 1 June 2021
Wednesday 9 June 2021

Thursday 1 July 2021

Friday 9 July 2021

Monday 2 August 2021

Tuesday 10 August 2021Wednesday 1 September 2021

There are no updates to the register of electors during the months of October and November as the council has to carry out an annual canvass to update the register.  The revised register of electors is published on 1 December each year.

Using information received from the public, Registration Officers keep two registers - the Electoral Register and the Open Register (also known as the Edited Register). For more information see Electoral registers.

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