The Electoral Register and the Open Register
There are two registers. Why?
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).
The electoral register
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote – and for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:
- Detecting crime (e.g. fraud)
- Calling people for jury service
- Checking credit applications
- Political Parties and Candidates to aid their election campaigns
The open register
The open register contains the names and addresses of those residents who have not chosen to opt out either when registering to vote or when completing to the household enquiry form. It is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
You can easily opt-out of the open register, simply tick the appropriate box on the form when you register to vote. If you wish to opt out after you have registered please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If anyone requests a copy of the open register the council is legally obliged to sell them a copy. The council does not make a profit from these sales. Charges are set by central government and do not cover the council’s cost in providing copies.
You can find out more information about both registers and how they are used at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Last reviewed: 23 - 05 - 2018