ANYONE who has not yet registered to vote for the Sunderland City Council election on Thursday 4 May is urged to do so immediately.

The Electoral Register closes at midnight on Monday 17 April.

You can apply online at: Register to vote – GOV.UK ( It takes just five minutes. Registered electors can also apply for a postal vote and the deadline to apply is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April.

There are currently 207,775 people on the Sunderland Electoral Register and 86,662 electors (41.7 per cent) are registered for a postal vote.

This year is the first time that voters will need to show photo ID at a polling station. It is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act. To find out which ID you can use in the polling station, visit the Electoral Commission website.

If you do not have one of the accepted types of ID, you can apply for free ID, called a Voter Authority certificate at Apply for photo ID to vote (called a ‘Voter Authority Certificate’) – GOV.UK ( or by completing and submitting a paper form to Electoral Services, Sunderland City Council, City Hall, Plater Way, Sunderland, SR1 3AA. The deadline to apply is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April, to be able to use the Voter Authority Certificate in May.

Voters must be on the Electoral Register to apply for a certificate and will need to provide a photo, full name, date of birth, the address at which they are registered to vote and their National Insurance number.

Sunderland Returning Officer, Patrick Melia said: “Elections are always an important opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on the issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in Sunderland.

“If you’re not registered to vote by Monday 17 April, you won’t be able to vote. It may seem a long time until May but it’s worth checking now that you are ready and have everything you need to vote.”

Sunderland holds elections by ‘thirds’ for its 75 councillors. Therefore, one seat of the three in each of the city’s 25 wards is up for election and 25 councillors are due to be elected.

Mr Melia added: “If you have turned 18, or if you have moved home recently, now is the time to ensure that you are registered to vote. It takes just five minutes to register and it means that you can take part in this election. And, please do not forget if you are going to the polling station there are new laws that mean you must now take an acceptable form of photo ID, such as your driving licence or passport, or bring your Voter Authority Certificate.”

If you need help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate or want to request a paper application form, please call Sunderland Electoral Services on 0191 520 5550 or email

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