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Ways to Vote

Voting in a Polling Station 

Voters are asked to show an approved form of photo ID before being issued with a ballot paper at their polling station. Registered individuals who do not have valid photo ID and want to vote at the polling station, will be able to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate

When you vote in person, you must go to the polling station that has been allocated to you based on your address on the electoral register.

Before you go to vote, check where your polling station is. It might not be the closest one to where you live, and it may have changed since you last voted.

Your polling station will be stated on your poll card, which you should receive through the post a few weeks before polling day.

If you do not receive your poll card, please contact Electoral Services on 0191 5205550 to check you are registered to vote.

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on polling day. They can get busy, particularly towards the end of the day. If there's a queue at your polling station, you will still be able to vote as long as you joined the queue before 10pm.

You can vote by post or proxy instead of going to your polling station yourself. This is also known as absent voting.


Voting by Post 

You don't need to provide photo ID to vote by post.

To apply to vote by post, the easiest way is online at   

You must be registered to vote in Sunderland before you can apply.

If you would like us to post a paper copy of the application form to you, email your name and address to or call us on 0191 5205550 or alternatively go to Apply to vote by post | Electoral Commission to dowload a form yourself. Applications must be returned to Electoral Services, Sunderland City Council, City Hall, Plater Way, Sunderland SR1 3AA.

The deadline to return a postal vote application has now passed.

For elections taking place on the 2 May, you will be only able to hand in your own postal vote, and the postal votes of up to five other people, at a polling station or to City Hall.  When handing in postal votes, you will need to complete a form. You will need to include your name and address, how many postal votes you are handing in and why you are handing in those postal votes.

Campaigners can only hand in their own postal vote, and postal votes for up to five other people that are either close relatives, or someone they provide regular care for.

For more information visit Ways to vote | Electoral Commission or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.


Cancel a postal vote

You can change your mind and cancel your postal vote at any time. To cancel your postal vote for a particular election we must receive your request in writing at least 11 working days before an election.

The easiest way to do this is by emailing , giving your full name and address, and the date from which you wish to cancel your postal vote. 

The deadline to cancel a postal vote application has now passed.


Voting by proxy

(allowing someone you trust to vote on your behalf)

To apply to vote by proxy, the easiest way is online at:  

If you're registered to vote and you can't get to the polling station yourself, you can nominate someone you trust to vote on your behalf.

The person you choose to vote on your behalf will need to go to your polling station to vote and will need to show their own photo ID to be able to cast your vote. They will not need to show your ID when voting on your behalf.

Anyone can be your proxy provided that they are:

  • registered to vote
  • eligible to vote in that type of election
  • willing to vote on your behalf

You must provide a reason why you can not get to your polling station in person and your proxy vote will only be in place for a specific election (unless you have a reason for a long-term proxy vote).

The deadline to return a proxy vote application is 5pm, Wednesday 24th April 2024.


Emergency proxy vote

In certain circumstances, where you have an emergency that means you cannot vote in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy.

This must be something that you weren't aware of before the ordinary proxy vote deadline.

Application can be made up to 5pm on Thursday 2nd May 2024 using one of the forms at Emergency proxy vote | Electoral Commission


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