The Electoral Commission

The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

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How can I find a lost friend or relative?

There is no official centralised register of electors, as registration is performed locally by the Electoral Registration Officer in each local council. However, there are two registers of electors, a full register which includes the names of all those registered to vote and is only available for electoral and limited statutory purposes, and an edited register which is for sale to anyone for any purpose and includes the names of those who have not 'opted out' of their details being included on it. Therefore it is possible to search the edited register using online commercial organisations, but it is not possible to search the full register in this way, as they are only available to view in hard copy at each local council electoral registration office.

In Northern Ireland the full and edited register is held by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.