How to vote
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.
If you would like to apply to vote by post, the easiest way is online at GOV.UK: Apply for a postal vote. Before you start you will need:
- the address where you are registered to vote
- your National Insurance number or other identity documents, for example a passport
- if you only want a one-off postal vote, the specific date of the election or referendum you want to vote by post in
You'll also need to upload a photo of your handwritten signature in black ink on plain white paper.
If you cannot provide a signature or one that always looks the same, you may be able to apply for a postal vote signature waiver within the service.
Other ways to apply
If you cannot apply online, you can download and complete an application form to vote by post.
Return your application form to the Elections Office by either:
- Post: Elections Office, South Tyneside Council, Town Hall, Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL
- Email a scanned copy to: email@example.com
- When you get your postal vote, remove the contents from the outer envelope. The envelope will contain:
- a postal voting statement with your ballot paper(s) attached. If there are more than two ballot papers in the envelope, the third will be attached to the instructions
- instructions for voting by post
- a ballot paper envelope marked A
- a return envelope marked B
- Detach the ballot paper(s) from the postal voting statement / instructions
- 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 the ballot paper(s) and mark a cross against the candidate or candidates you wish to vote for (with a pen or pencil)
- Put the ballot paper(s) into envelope A, with the number printed on the back of the ballot paper(s) showing through the window
- Seal the ballot paper envelope A and put it and the postal voting statement into the return envelope B, with the return address showing through the window
Post your postal voting pack as soon as possible to make sure it is received before election day.
To find a priority post box, visit Royal Mail: Services near you.
If you forget to post your postal voting pack, you can hand deliver it to South Shields Town Hall or any polling station in South Tyneside on election day.
The number of postal votes any person can hand deliver is limited by law to their own plus the votes of up to 5 other people. Where more than one election is being held on the same day, and separate postal packs are issued for those elections, the limit is per election.
A form must be completed when handing in postal votes, the votes will be rejected if the form is not completed, or the number handed in exceeds the legal limit.
Voting by post