The electoral register

Use of the electoral register

The electoral register is used by:

  • election staff, political parties, candidates and holders of elected office for electoral purposes
  • the council for duties relating to security, enforcing the law and preventing crime - the police and the security services can also use it for law enforcement
  • the HM Courts and Tribunals Service to call people up for jury service.

Credit reference agencies

The full register of electors can legally be sold to registered credit reference agencies. They help other organisations to check the names and addresses of people applying for credit. They also use it to carry out identity checks when trying to prevent and detect money laundering.

To find out what these credit reference agencies use your data for, visit their websites:

  • Callcredit
  • Experian
  • Equifax
  • Crediva
  • Aristotle - although a registered credit reference agency they deal directly with companies and not members of the public.

Buying the open register

There is legislation which outlines the charges that all council's must make for requests for data from the open electoral register, these are:

  • in data form, the fee is £20 plus £1.50 for each 1,000 entries (or remaining part of 1,000 entries) in it
  • in printed form, the fee is £10 plus £5 for each 1,000 entries (or remaining part of 1,000 entries) in it.

The cost of collating the register is in excess of £200,000 each year. We do not make money from selling the open register.

Anyone wishing to opt their details out of the open register may do so when they register to vote or by filling in the opt out form.

Direct mail

If you do not want direct or junk mail sent to your home, register with the Mailing Preference Service.