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.

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 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.

Keeping the register up to date

Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) are required to keep the register of eligible voters up to date. From July each year, they contact every household to find out if the details on the electoral register are correct. This is called the annual canvass.

Your household may be contacted in different ways, such as by:

  • post
  • email
  • phone
  • knocking on your door

If you need to update your details on the electoral register, it’s important that you respond as soon as you can. This means reminders don’t have to be sent, and someone does not need to visit you to get this information.

Impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 canvass

Impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 canvass

The 2020 canvass will run from 1 July 2020 in England and Wales, and from 3 August 2020 in Scotland. EROs are required to do this by law. It has not been suspended as a result of COVID-19.

When you’re contacted, if you need to make a change to your registration information, please respond as soon as possible. It will make sure the process runs smoothly. It also means there will be no need for additional contact, which is particularly important at the moment.

Last updated: 23 June 2020
Next review: 14 November 2020