If your name appears on the register of electors then you’re eligible to vote in an election. You’ll receive a poll card before the election is held, telling you:

  • the date of the election
  • where you should register your vote (your polling place)
  • the times the polling stations will be open

Your poll card is only for information and you can vote without it. However, it will help the staff at the polling station to check your details before you are given a ballot paper.

The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at some elections. This new requirement will apply for the first time in England at the local elections on Thursday 4 May 2023.

Changes to postal and proxy voting applications

The Elections Act 2022 introduced a number of changes to our electoral system, including how we vote by post and proxy.

Residents in the District are advised that from Tuesday 31 October 2023, voters will be able to apply to vote by post online. Previously, postal votes could only be applied for by completing a paper application form.

If you wish to vote by post, but cannot apply online, a paper application form is available from the Electoral Commission’s website at, or please contact us by email at or telephone on 01636 655459.

Postal votes will last for a maximum of three years with voters required to re-apply for their postal vote at the end of this period. If you currently have a postal vote in place, you do not need to take any action now. We will write to you when it is time to renew.

Proxy voting has also changed from Tuesday 31 October 2023. Under new rules, voters will be limited to acting as a proxy for two people, regardless of their relationship. Anyone voting on behalf of UK voters who live overseas may be eligible to act as a proxy for up to four people. Voters will be able to apply to vote by proxy online for some types of proxy vote.

A National Insurance number will need to be provided on postal vote and proxy vote applications. If someone is not able to provide it, alternative proof of identity may be accepted. You will also need to upload an image of your usual signature.

These changes are part of the Elections Act and further information can be found at

Postal and proxy votes

If you cannot attend the polling station on the day of the election, you can request a postal vote or appoint someone to vote on your behalf (a proxy). Details and forms for these can be found below.

Applications can be for all elections, specific elections or for a specified period of time. This form must not be completed with an electronic signature.

For all the options below, your application must be returned by the date shown on your poll card or on the election webpage.

You can complete and return the appropriate form to the address shown on it, or scan the completed document and email to: If you cannot print the forms please contact us.

Postal voting

You can choose to vote by post if you’re unable to attend your polling station or if you prefer to vote in this way. You’ll need to complete a postal vote application form (PDF File, 235kb).

Postal vote applications for a forthcoming election must be returned by the date shown on your poll card or on the election webpage.

Postal ballot papers can be sent to your home address or any other address you specify. Please remember if you would like your postal vote sending overseas, you must leave enough time to receive the ballot paper and return it before the close of poll on the day of the election.

Remember that this is your vote - so keep it to yourself!

Proxy voting

You can appoint a proxy, which is someone to vote on your behalf, if you’re unable to attend your polling station. To do this you’ll need to complete a proxy vote application form (PDF File, 469kb).

You will then need to inform your proxy how you wish to vote. The person acting as your proxy can vote for you at your usual polling station. You can still vote in person, but only if your proxy has not already voted on your behalf.

Postal-proxy voting

You can appoint a proxy, which is someone to vote on your behalf, if you’re unable to attend your polling station. If your proxy cannot vote at your usual polling station, they can apply to vote as a postal-proxy. You’ll both need to complete the relevant part of a postal-proxy vote application form (PDF File, 488kb).

You then need to inform your proxy how you wish to vote and the person acting as your proxy can vote for you by post.

You or your proxy will not be able to vote in person at your polling station.

Absent vote signature refresh

New legislation came into force in 2007 requiring absent voters (those who vote by post) to provide a signature and date of birth (personal identifiers) when they first apply. Your personal identifiers are always kept separate from your ballot paper, so no-one knows how you have voted.

When you’re sent a postal ballot paper, you provide your date of birth and signature again so they can be matched against those that you gave us when you applied. This helps to ensure that no-one else is using your vote. If the personal identifiers do not match, your vote cannot be counted.

An important part of these security measures is providing a fresh specimen signature every five years. The legislation requires the electoral registration officer to carry out an annual refresh of signatures by 31 January (this could change in some years) of every person who remains an absent voter and whose signature is more than five years old.

When you receive this important information about your absent vote, please read it carefully and respond as soon as possible. If you do not respond in three weeks the law says that you must be sent a reminder. This will cost the council money.

If you fail to respond within six weeks of the date of the first letter, your existing absent vote will be cancelled and you'll have to vote in person or make a new application.

If you no longer want to vote an absent vote, please contact us to cancel it and avoid any unnecessary reminders.

When are elections held?

UK Parliamentary elections are held every five years. The last scheduled general election took place on 8 June 2017 and a snap election on 12 December 2019.

Police crime commissioner elections are held every four years. The last police crime commissioner elections took place on 6 May 2021.

County council elections are held every four years. The last County Council elections took place on 6 May 2021.

District Council elections are held every four years. The last District Council elections took place on 2 May 2019.

Parish and town council elections are held every four years. The last parish and town council elections took place on 2 May 2019 - they are held in combination with district council elections.

By-elections and referendums can take place at any time and will be included in the elections latest news section.


Newark & Sherwood District Council is made up of 21 wards.

review of the wards by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England took place in 2014 and their final recommendations were in place for the elections in May 2015.

This review was to ensure that each Newark & Sherwood councillor represented roughly the same number of voters and that ward boundaries reflect the interests and identities of local communities.

View a map of all wards (PDF File, 3,268kb).