Electoral services

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3. The electoral register and open register

The electoral registers

Using information received from the public, electoral registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and the open register (previously 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 and referenda. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:

  • detecting crime (eg. fraud)
  • calling people for jury service; and
  • checking credit applications

The electoral register contains the name, address and elector number of the elector; it does not contain telephone numbers and email addresses.

Political parties are entitled to a copy of the electoral register for electoral purposes such as canvassing and sending leaflets before an election.

The electoral register is a public document but can only be inspected, under supervision at the Council offices and only hand written notes can be made of it.

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.

Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed either at the time you register or by contacting the electoral services department. Removing your details from the open register will not affect your right to vote.

Your personal information

We will only use the information you give us for electoral and other purposes specified in legislation. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not give personal information about you and the other people in your household to anyone else or another organisation unless we have to by law.