Ways to Vote
Voting in a Polling Station
From the 4 May 2023, voters will be 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.
If you're registered to vote, you can apply to vote by post.
To apply please download, print and compete the application form and send it to Electoral Services, Sunderland City Council, City Hall, Plater Way, Sunderland SR1 3AA.
Alternatively you can send a clear scanned copy or high quality photograph as an email attachment to email@example.com Please remember to include your name and address in the email.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org , giving your full name and address, and the date from which you wish to cancel your postal vote. This has to reach us by
Voting by proxy
(allowing someone you trust to vote on your behalf)
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).
Long-term proxy vote
In certain circumstances you can apply for a long-term proxy vote. The form you need to complete depends on the reason why you need a proxy vote.
- You have a disability
- You are away on an educational course
- You are away for work
- You are registered as an overseas voter
- You work overseas for the British Council or as a Crown servant
- You are serving overseas in the Armed Forces
Please contact us on 0191 5205550 if you would like us to post a paper copy of the application form to you.
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 polling day.