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Frequently asked questions about the Electoral Roll

The electoral roll, sometimes known as the electoral register, contains the names and addresses of every adult over the age of 18 who is registered to vote in a specific area.

White Pages uses this information to compile our UK directories, helping more and more people track down their lost friends and loved ones, generate business opportunities for growing companies and help others into the right job.

The Electoral Roll Search is a great resource, but if you would like to find out more about how the information is gathered and used, read on for some frequently asked questions and answers about the electoral register.

Electoral Roll

Image By: James West

What is the electoral roll?

There are two versions of the electoral roll, a full version and an edited version. Your details will appear on the full roll when you register to vote at 18, but you can opt to have your details excluded from the edited version completely whilst you’re registering your details to the electoral commission.

What is the electoral roll used for?

Firstly, it is a register for the government to keep track of voting numbers. Secondly, a small number of credit reference agencies are permitted to use the full register to check the names and addresses of people applying for credit. The full version can also be used by law enforcement for specific purposes, like calling members of the public up for jury duty. The edited version of the electoral roll can be purchased by anyone and can be used for any purpose; however access to the full roll is limited by the government. Only a handful of credit agencies are allowed to check the names and addresses of people on it and although it is possible to view the full register in your local electoral office or library, your access is supervised. Computer scans and copies of the full document are not allowed.

Can I ‘opt out’ or appear anonymously on the register?

When you are registering your vote, you may tick a box on the form that will show that you don’t want your name appearing on the edited electoral roll. You can also choose to opt out at any time by contacting your local Electoral Registration Officer. However your name will still appear on the full register.

The Electoral Administration Act 2006 introduced the ability to register anonymously on the full electoral roll. But if you wish to apply for anonymity, you must first write to your Electoral Registration Officer and provide a convincing reason for why you shouldn’t be included on the full register. You will need a court order or attestation from certain persons to support your case.

What personal information is displayed in the edited electoral roll?

Your name, address, a marker that indicates what elections you can vote in and the date of your 18th birthday.

How do I register to vote?

All properties in the UK will receive an electoral registration form every year in September. After the 1st December, applications can be made to your local Electoral Registration Officer to be included on the electoral roll or you can visit the about my vote government website. The register is updated on the first working day of each month up until the 1st September.

What happens if I don’t register to vote?

If you don’t register to vote and you apply for credit, your application may be rejected because the creditors cannot confirm your name and address. It also means you won’t be eligible to vote in elections and referendums, obviously.

How can I check if I’m registered to vote?

Unfortunately, the electoral roll isn’t a centralised document, so therefore you will have to check with your local Electoral Registration Officer to see if you’re registered.

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