Guidance for Election Day

Posted by: Kaye Russell on 01 July 2024 12:36

Voters in South Tyneside are encouraged to make sure they are ready to cast their votes on Election Day including the need to have photo ID at polling stations.

South Tyneside residents will go to the polls this week (Thursday 4 July) to elect MPs for the South Shields and Jarrow and Gateshead East parliamentary constituencies.

People are urged to complete and return their postal ballots as soon as possible.

Those who do not have a postal vote can find where they need to go to cast their vote on polling day on their poll card. It is important voters check the information as their polling station may have changed since the last elections.

Residents are reminded to bring their photo ID to polling stations. Those who have applied for, but have yet to receive their Voter Authority Certificate, can contact the Council's Elections team on 0191 427 7000 for a temporary Voter Authority Certificate.

Anyone who has lost their photo ID can apply for an emergency proxy vote. This will allow someone they trust to vote on their behalf at a polling station. However, the trusted person will need to take their own photo ID. Visit Electoral Commission: Apply to vote by proxy for more information.

What voters need to know before Election Day:

Vote in time:

  • Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 4 July (voters have to be registered, or have applied to register to vote, by 18 April in order to be able to vote on the day).
  • Voters will be given one ballot paper. Voters can vote for one candidate on the ballot paper.
  • Poll cards have been sent to the addresses of registered voters. The cards give details of the location of their polling station. Voters can only vote at the polling station specified on their own poll card.
  • Have photo ID ready to take to the polling station. Voters can use expired identification as long as the picture still looks like them.
  • Plan when to cast votes and leave plenty of time before the 10pm deadline. Those in the queue at 10pm will still be able to vote, however those who arrive at their polling station after 10pm will miss their chance to take part.

Postal voting:

  • Make sure postal votes are returned by 10pm on Thursday 4 July.
  • Those who have not had time to post it before polling day can hand it in at any polling station in South Tyneside.
  • Those handing in postal votes at a polling station will need to complete a postal vote return form and are limited by law to handing in their own, plus the votes of up to five other people, per election. Political campaigners cannot handle postal votes for other electors who are not close relatives, or someone for who they provide regular care.
  • Postal votes that are handed in without a completed form, that exceed the legal hand in limit, or arrive after 10pm on 4 July will not be counted.

Proxy voting:

  • For those who have appointed a proxy, they need to make sure the proxy is able to vote at the polling station on their behalf.
  • Proxy voters must take their own photo ID with them to the polling station.

What to take:

  • Your photo ID. Staff will check the identification before issuing a ballot paper. Make sure to take original identification, and the photo is a good likeness, to avoid it being rejected. Those who have changed their name recently and the name on your poll card is different to their identification, are urged to take a copy of their name change document, such as a marriage certificate or deed poll.
  • Voters who cannot find the photo ID they intended to use on polling day, or have a medical emergency, or their occupation, service or employment means they cannot go to the polling station, and they only become aware of that fact after 5pm on Wednesday 26 June may be entitled to appoint an emergency proxy.
  • Voters can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day. Contact South Tyneside Council's Elections team direct on (0191) 424 7230.
  • Voters can ask for their identification to be checked in private. Privacy screens will be available in every station for this purpose. A mirror will be provided for voters to reapply a face covering if required.
  • Voters can take their poll card along to show polling station staff on arrival. The staff will still ask voters to confirm their name and address. Those who don't have their poll card with them can give polling station staff their name and address to check whether they are on the electoral register.

Social media:

  • Social media is a great way to let friends and family know they have voted and to encourage them to do the same. Use Twitter, Facebook and any other social media accounts to help get the message out there.
  • Remember, pictures of voters before they go into or after leaving the polling station are great to use on social media posts but posting pictures taken inside the polling station could be a breach of the law.

How to fill in the ballot paper:

  • The staff at the polling station will provide a ballot paper listing the candidates that voters can vote for.
  • Staff will be on hand at the polling station to provide advice, and easy read guides will also be available to explain the voting process.
  • Voters with a disability can ask the Presiding Officer for help and can mark the ballot paper if needed; or ask someone else over the age of 18 to help (e.g. a relative, friend or support worker).
  • Voters with a visual impairment can ask for a large print copy of the ballot papers; a braille voting device that allows them to vote on their own in secret; an audio device that contains a recording of the candidate's names and description as listed on the ballot papers; a magnifying glass, or they can use a magnifying app on their own mobile phone. Additional lighting will be provided in an accessible polling booth.
  • Take the ballot paper into a polling booth so that no one can see the vote. Read the ballot paper carefully for instructions on how to vote.
  • Mark the ballot paper according to the instructions. Do not write anything else on the paper or the vote may not be counted. Voters can use a pen or pencil, whichever they prefer.
  • Don't worry if a mistake is made on a ballot paper. If voters make their intention clear, it will be counted. So long as the paper has not been put in the ballot box, polling station staff can issue a replacement ballot paper if needed.
  • Fold the completed ballot paper in half and pop it in the ballot box, and it's done!

For more information about elections in South Tyneside, visit South Tyneside Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/elections or call South Tyneside Council's Elections Team on (0191) 424 7230.

Further details about the voting process is available at www.yourvotematters.co.uk.

A short video about voting in person is available to view on the Council's YouTube channel here: Elections - Voting at a polling station.

Last modified: 02 July 2024 09:59