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European Parliamentary Election 2019 - frequently asked questions

This page contains frequently asked questions about the European Parliamentary Election 2019.

Q. How many European Parliamentary seats will be contested in the North East area at the European Parliamentary election?
A.Three seats will be contested in the North East Area.


Q. How do I vote?
A. You can vote by post or in person at your allocated polling station on election day.

Q. If I am voting in person, what time can I vote?
A. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, 23 May.

Q. How will I know where to go to vote?
A. Your polling card will include the name of your allocated polling station.

Q. I haven't posted my vote can I take it to a polling station?
A. If you have forgotten to post your postal vote, you can take it along to your allocated polling station.

Q. Do I need to bring a pen to vote so that nobody can rub out my vote and replace it with another.
A. Pencils are provided in polling booths but if you wish to cast your vote using a pen, you will need to bring your own.

Q. I have moved house but I am on the electoral roll at my old address, where do I vote?
A. If you have recently moved house, you need to be registered at your new home. Simply Register to vote at your new address or contact Electoral Services with your new address details. The deadline to do this for the European Parliamentary Election is Tuesday, 7 May. If you miss the deadline, you can still vote using your previous address, as this is where you are registered on the electoral roll. You must only vote once in any principle area election. To check this, please contact electoral services or to look up the polling station for your old address, visit our  page and enter your old post code. 

Q. What's the deadline for registering to vote in the European Parliamentary Election?
A. The deadline for registering is on Tuesday 7 May.

Q What's the deadline for applying for a postal vote?
A. The deadline for applying for a postal vote is 5.00pm on Wednesday, 8 May.

Q. What's the deadline for applying for a vote by proxy?
A. The deadline for applying for a vote by proxy is 5.00pm on Wednesday, 15 May.

Q What's the deadline for returning my postal vote?
A. Postal votes must arrive by 10.00pm on Thursday, 23 May.

Q. Can I stand outside a polling station and approach people about their vote as they go in and out?
A. Yes. Campaigners should be allowed to put their messages to voters on polling day, including in public spaces outside polling places as long as they do so peacefully and not within or impeding access to the grounds of the polling place.

Q. I've lost my poll card - can I still vote?
Yes, if you lose your polling card you can still vote at your allocated polling station.

Q. How do I find out who I can vote for?
A. The individual names of all candidates and parties standing in the European Parliamentary election are included in the Statement of Parties and Individual Candidates Nominated and Notice of Poll on the European Parliamentary Election 2019 - 23 May page.

Q. Can I go to a different polling station than the one on my poll card?
A. No, you can only vote at the polling station specified on your polling card. If you have lost your polling card, you can find your allocated polling station on our website.

Q. Can I go into a polling station if I am not voting?
A. No, you may not. The only people allowed in a polling station are those who are voting.

Q. If someone at a polling station asks me how I have voted do I have to tell them?
A. You do not have to tell anyone how you have voted.

Q. What do I do if I make a mistake on the voting slip or I change my mind about who I want to vote for?
A. If you make a mistake or spoil your paper, you can take it back to the presiding officer and ask for another.

Q. How are presiding officers/polling clerks appointed?
A. Polling staff are normally appointed from a database of staff maintained by the Returning Officer. Anyone interested in helping us with the elections process is welcome to contact our electoral services team.

Q. How are the venues for polling stations chosen?
A. Most polling stations have been in use for several years. They must be located in the electoral area they serve and, as well as the actual polling room, we consider issues such as access and parking.

Q. Why are schools needed to be polling stations and closed when a closer venue is more appropriate?
A. Polling stations must be located in the electoral area they serve. Schools are only ever used where there is no viable alternative in the electoral area.

Q. Where are the votes counted - in the original polling station or transported elsewhere?
A. The votes will be transported to two central locations where they will be verified, prior to be being transferred to a central count venue in time for the Count on Sunday 26 May.

The count

Q. When and where will the counts take place and what will they start and finish?
A. The European Parliamentary election verification will take place across two venues - Spennymoor Leisure Centre and the Louisa Centre, Stanley - on Thursday, 23 May at 10.00pm. The European Parliamentary election count will take place on Sunday 26 May at 7.00pm and we expect all results to be declared by 10.00pm.

Q. Who can go to the count? eg is it open to the public
A.Candidates and their agents can attend the count but the count is not open to the general public.

Q. Will parking be available at the election counts?
A. Limited parking will be available for candidates and their agents at Spennymoor Leisure Centre when the counts take place. There will be no parking at the venue for the media or members of the public.

Q. How many people are involved in counting each individual box?
A. We are employing about 400 staff to process 433 ballot boxes.

Q. How many times are the ballot papers from each box counted?
A. Ballot papers are counted twice. Firstly, to verify that the number of papers in the ballot box matches the number that have been handed out to voters, and secondly, to count the number of votes per parties.

Q. Who can demand a recount and what are the protocols for triggering one?
A. Recounts can only reasonably be requested by candidates or their agents if the result is close.

The democratic process

Q. If a candidate or agent suspects voter fraud, what can they do?
A. In the first instance, they should contact the Returning Officer, who may be able to explain whether an electoral fraud has been committed and refer it to the police if necessary.

Q. A candidate has said something I believe to be untrue (on an election communication - what can I do?
A. This is part of national civil law. You should consult a solicitor.

Contact us
Electoral Services
03000 261 212
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL
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