Electoral Register

The Full and Open Electoral Registers

We keep two registers:

  1. Full Electoral Register
  2. Open Register (previously known as the edited register)

Full Electoral Register

  • Lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote.
  • Is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only people who are eligible can vote.
  • It is also used for other limited legally specified activities, such as detecting crime (like fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.

Open Register

  • Is an extract of the electoral register.
  • Not used for elections.
  • 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.

How can I opt in or out of the electoral register?

Changing your details on the electoral register

Let us know about any changes so we can make sure your details are correct on the electoral register. 

You've moved house
If you've recently changed your address, you'll need to re-register at your new address.

  • You'll need your National Insurance number.  You may also need your passport if you're living abroad.
  • Make sure you include your previous address when completing the form so your details can be removed from the register at your old address
  • Tell us you've moved house on the GOV.UK register to vote website

Someone no longer lives at an address
If someone no longer lives at an address, because they've moved out or died, please let us know.

We'll need to know your:

  • name
  • address
  • relationship to the person or people (including if you're the new occupier of an address)

We also need the:

  • name(s) of the person(s) who no longer lives at the address
  • address where they should no longer be registered at (if different to your own)

How to change your name?

Tell us if you've changed your name and we'll update your details on the electoral register.

We'll need to know:

  • Your old name
  • New name
  • Address

You need to provide proof of change of name.  For example:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Deed poll
  • Amended birth certificate

Alternatively, you can complete a new registration application here.

Your name is spelt incorrectly on the electoral register

  • Contact us and let us know.

You want to vote by post, or you want someone to vote on your behalf

You want to opt in or out of the open register

Viewing the electoral register

The current Electoral Register including all subsequent notices of alteration, which includes all amendments, additions and deletions to this register, are available for viewing in person at the Council Office by appointment only.

Please call us on 01827 214155 to make an appointment.

It is not possible to view or search the Electoral Register online.

How is electoral register is used?

The electoral register is a public document and 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. The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data-protection legislation.

The Electoral Register is used by:

  • Election staff, political parties, candidates and holders of elected office use the register for electoral purposes.
  • Your local council and the British Library hold copies that anyone may look at under supervision. A copy is also held by the Electoral Commission, the Boundary Commissions (which set constituency boundaries for most elections) and the Office for National Statistics.
  • We can use the register for duties relating to security, enforcing the law and preventing crime. The police and security services can also use it for law enforcement.
  • The register is used when calling people for jury service.
  • Government departments may buy the register from local registration officers and use it to help prevent and detect crime. They can also use it to safeguard national security by checking the background of job applicants and employees.
  • Credit reference agencies can buy the register. They help other organisations to check the names and addresses of people applying for credit. They also use it to carry out identity checks when trying to prevent and detect money laundering.

It is a criminal offence to supply or use the register for anything else.

The open register

The open register 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. The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data-protection legislation.

Who uses the open register?

  • Businesses checking the identity and address details of people who apply for their services such as insurance, goods hire and property rental, as well as when they shop online
  • Businesses selling age-restricted goods or services, such as alcohol and gambling online, to meet the rules on verifying the age of their customers
  • Charities and voluntary agencies, for example to help maintain contact information for those who have chosen to donate bone marrow and to help people separated by adoption to find each other.
  • Charities, to help with fundraising and contacting people who have made donations.
  • Debt collection agencies when tracing people who have changed address without telling their creditors.
  • Direct marketing firms when maintaining their mailing lists
  • Landlords and letting agents when checking the identity of potential tenants.
  • Local councils when identifying and contacting residents.
  • Online directory firms to help users of their websites find people, such as when reuniting friends and families.
  • Organisations tracing and identifying beneficiaries of wills, pensions and insurance policies.
  • Private sector firms to verify details of job applicants.