Residents of South Tyneside are urged to make sure they are registered to vote ahead of the Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner Elections in May.
On Thursday 6 May, residents will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them on South Tyneside Council and as the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Northumbria Police area.
Local government elections select councillors, who are responsible for making decisions on council services, such as housing, education, transport, planning, parks, leisure, public safety, social care and waste management.
The Police and Crime Commissioner election selects the person who will be accountable for how crime is tackled and the service provided in the Northumbria Police area.
To vote in these important elections, residents must be on the Electoral Register. Residents who have not registered at their current address need to make sure they are registered in time.
The deadline to register to vote in the local elections is Monday 19 April. Anyone can apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
In the current circumstances the Council is encouraging electors, particularly those who have previously been asked to shield, to consider voting by post in May. Applying for a postal vote will give voters the confidence of being able to take part in the 2021 elections, no matter what the situation with regards to coronavirus.
The deadline to apply to vote by post is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April 2021.
John Rumney, South Tyneside Returning Officer, said: "Residents have less than one month left to make sure they can take part in the local elections.
"These elections are an opportunity for people to make their voices heard and have a say on who represents them on issues directly affecting their everyday life in South Tyneside. But those who are not registered by 19 April will not be able to vote.
"Registering to vote is really quick and easy. It can be done online in a matter of minutes. We are urging anyone who is not registered, to do so as soon as possible to help protect their right to vote. After the deadline, it will be too late."
South Tyneside Council is supporting the Electoral Commission's Got 5? Voter registration campaign, which highlights how quick and easy it is to register to vote online.
Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, said: "You can't have your say in these important elections unless you are registered to vote. It's quick and easy - it takes just five minutes online at www.gov.uk/registertovote
"If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important that you act to ensure that you are registered to vote."
Those who were registered to vote in the last elections and whose details have not changed will still be registered to vote. If in doubt, contact the Council's Election Team on (0191) 424 7230.
Voters have a range of options for casting their ballot - in person, by post of by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. For those who choose to vote in person, polling stations will be safe places to vote on 6 May.
The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 27 April.
For further information about elections in South Tyneside visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/elections