Running electoral registration - Scotland

Objections to a registration application or entry on the register

An elector registered in your area may make an objection at any time to a person’s registration, either before or after you have added that person to the register. Objections can be made to both applications for registration and to entries already on the register.

An application by a person under 16 years old must not be entered in the list of applications available for public inspection.1 However, there is nothing to prevent an objection being made to the application. An objection could also be made to an entry on the register of a person under 16 years old.

The grounds for objection are either:

  • that the person does not meet one or all of the requirements for registration, namely the age, nationality and residence qualifications
  • that the person has a legal disqualification to registering

There may be circumstances where an objection is made in relation to an application or entry in the parliamentary register and not the local government register. For example, an applicant's nationality may not qualify them for the parliamentary register.

Some electors may not wish to make a formal objection because they wish to keep their details anonymous. However, this does not prevent you from carrying out a review of entitlement to registration. 

Objections must:2  

  • be made in writing 
  • be signed and dated by the elector making the objection (‘the objector’) – the signature cannot be an electronic one
  • include the name, address and electoral number of the objector – the address should be as it appears on the register if shown, if no such address appears or the objector wishes correspondence be sent to a different address, the correspondence address should be given
  • give the name, qualifying address and electoral number of the elector who is objected to or, if not yet registered, their name and address as in the application
  • give the reason for the objection

You are entitled to ask for further information about the particulars of any objection. For example, if an objector has not given the qualifying address of the person they are objecting to, you should write to the objector to ask for this before taking any further action. Once satisfied you have all the details, you can continue with the objection process.

Objections are open for inspection until determined.3  

You must maintain two separate lists of objections:4  

  • a list of objections to applications for registration before the person has been added to the register
  • a list of objections to entries already in the register

An objection made by a person under 16 years old must not be entered in the lists of objections available for public inspection.5

Anonymous applications and those registered anonymously cannot be subject to an objection.6  

Last updated: 27 May 2021