The Electoral Commission

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

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Effective management of registration processes

Here you can find examples of good practice in managing electoral registration processes shared by local authorities.

  1. Key considerations
  2. Options
  3. Experiences of others
  4. Potential benefits
  5. Challenges
  6. Resources

Download this page as a PDF

Key considerations

  • Effective management of registration processes is key to maintaining an accurate and complete electoral register
  • EROs need to capture everything that needs to be done in order to enable progress to be monitored throughout the year
  • A number of EROs have identified tools to assist them with managing registration processes


  • To supplement the detailed actions included in the wider project plan for managing electoral registration, some EROs have found it beneficial to create lists of weekly, monthly and annual tasks for registration in a spreadsheet. This can allow easy overview of what needs to be done and what has been done already, including when it was done and by whom
  • Use of project management tools that can be used on laptops, tablets and smartphones as an app. Many of these tools are free, user-friendly and intuitive to use

Experiences of others

Doncaster have implemented a new process where they link their work queue for properties they have not yet been able to personally canvass with their EMS to allow staff to carry out telephone canvassing of the residents in those properties. They were then able to complete telephone applications with any new electors they contacted, which removed the need to send ITRs and the subsequent follow up exercise.

To help manage and monitor this process, Doncaster created a report with the following fields which was updated regularly as more properties were reached:

  • All outstanding HEF properties
  • Electors within those properties with a phone number
  • Polling district (optional, but they found it easier to target a specific area where known)

All process amendments were carried out within the existing functionality of the EMS and Doncaster have advised that it was cost neutral

Wycombe use ‘Quick Parts’, a tool which enables them to save time in replying to routine queries. Template text is saved in outlook for different situations that could be used for different responses, and allows a ‘click and import’ method to quickly reply to both email and phone calls. This approach can help improve the speed and consistency of responses when managing large volumes of emails.

Potential benefits

  • Utilising management tools that already exist and can be updated and adapted to fit local needs, avoid the need for EROs to produce their own
  • Low or no financial cost to implement some of the options and examples
  • Potential to capture everything that needs to be done to deliver electoral registration locally, ensuring that all activity is planned for and resources allocated effectively
  • Clarity for everyone in the team as to what needs to be done and by when, allowing greater ability to carry out tasks when a key member of the team is unexpectedly absent
  • Enables the monitoring and evaluation of processes to help EROs target resources appropriately and identify where amendments to processes are required


  • Any new processes will likely involve additional training for staff
  • New or amended processes may involve an initial – although likely minimal - financial outlay


Guidance to EROs on planning for electoral registration processes: Part 1 - Planning for the delivery of electoral registration activity (PDF)

Template registration plan (XLS) and template risk and issues register (XLS) that EROs can use to support planning for the delivery of well-run electoral registration services.

Contract management checklist (PDF) designed to highlight key considerations relevant to outsourcing work and managing contracts.

Electoral administrator