Running electoral registration - Scotland

How should anonymous electors be listed in the register?

How should anonymous electors be listed in the register?

Persons registered anonymously must be included at the end of each relevant part of the register under the heading ‘other electors’ without a name or address. The entry for each anonymously registered elector must consist of their elector number and the letter ‘N’.1
Anonymous entries must not be included in the edited register and all anonymous electors are automatically opted out.2  

You must keep a separate list – the record of anonymous entries. This will contain the elector number, full name, qualifying address, correspondence address (if any) and the date that the registration first took effect. If the person has a postal vote, the delivery address must also be kept on the record.3 You should ensure that the list is kept secure and prevent any unauthorised access.

Only the following persons and organisations are entitled to have access to the record of anonymous entries:4

  • Returning Officers and referendum Counting Officers
  • the security services, including Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
  • the police, including the National Crime Agency (at the request of a senior officer, this means an officer a rank senior to that of superintendent, or, in the case of the National Crime Agency, the Director General of that Agency)

When a person is entered in the record, you will need to issue a signed ‘certificate of anonymous registration’. This must state the local authority area, the elector’s name, qualifying address, electoral number and the date on which the registration took effect. It must also state that the registration will end no later than 12 months from that date if a fresh application for anonymous registration is not made.5  

We have produced a template certificate of anonymous registration which you may wish to use.

Absent voting lists 

The absent voting lists for anonymous electors and their proxies, must contain only the elector’s electoral number and the period for which the absent vote is in effect, but not any name or address.6 At an election, the copy of the absent voting lists to enable postal vote issuing and marking the return of postal votes contains only the electoral number.7 The address to which the ballot pack will be sent must not be on that list and all correspondence must be sent in an unidentifiable envelope.8  

Last updated: 27 May 2021