Versions of the electoral register

There are two versions of the electoral register.

The full version includes the name and address of everyone who is registered to vote, except those who register to vote anonymously.

The open register (or edited register in Northern Ireland), is an extract of the full electoral register. This version is available to anyone who wants to buy it, such as businesses or charities.

You can opt out of the open register when you register to vote. If you are already registered to vote and want to opt out, you will need to contact the electoral services team at your local council.

Who holds the electoral register

We don’t hold the electoral register, and there is not an online version.

The electoral services team at your local council hold the electoral register for their area. 

If you want to check if you’re registered to vote, you will need to contact the electoral services team at your local council.
 

Who can use the full electoral register

The elections team at your local council use the register for electoral purposes, such as issuing poll cards.

It is also used for:

  • detecting crime
  • calling people for jury service
  • checking credit applications 

Candidates, registered political parties and other registered campaigners are also allowed to have copies of the full electoral register. They can use the register for campaigning activities, including sending election communication to voters.
 

Candidate communication

Candidates at UK Parliamentary general elections are allowed to send one election communication, such as a letter of leaflet, in the post using Royal Mail with no charge for postage. They can either send it to every eligible voter on the relevant electoral register, or to every household in the electoral area.

Candidates, registered political parties and other registered campaigners may contact you in other ways, including delivering leaflets and door to door canvassing. They have to follow the law when they do this, including how they contact you and how they handle your personal information. You can find out more about your personal information and election campaigning from the ICO.

Campaigners also have to follow the rules about financial reporting and campaign spending
 

Last updated: 13 December 2019
Next review: 14 November 2020