The Register of Electors is a list of the names and addresses of everyone eligible to vote in elections. You can only vote if your name is on the Register.
Paying council tax doesn't automatically add you to the Register. Telling the council tax department or one of our other council departments that you have moved won't change your address on the Register either. Registering to vote is a different process.
There are two different versions of the Register, the Open Register and the Electoral Register (also referred to as the 'Full Register').
This is an edited version of the Register and can be sold to anyone on request. It is also known as the 'Edited Register'.
The Electoral Register (or 'Full Register')
This is a list of the names and addresses of everyone registered to vote in elections. The Full Register is used mainly for electoral purposes (such as making sure only eligible people can vote) and also for limited purposes set out in law, such as calling people for jury duty and detecting fraud.
It's a criminal offence for anyone to supply or use the register for anything else.
Opting out of the Open Register
When you register to vote, we legally have to automatically include you in the Open Register unless you tick the box on your form asking us not to do this. This will also happen if you move house and re-register, even if you weren't on the Open Register at your previous address.
If you're currently on the Open Register and would like to change this, please contact us by telephone, letter or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You don't need to give a reason for your decision, but we'll need your name, address and contact details to make the change. If you'd like to be added to the Open Register, please contact us in the same way.
Being removed from the Open Register doesn't affect your right to vote.
You can only make register changes for yourself. If anyone else in your household would like to be added to or removed from the Open Register, they must contact us separately. This is because electoral registration is an individual process and we will need their permission to make any changes.
If your safety, or the safety of someone you live with, could be put at risk if your details were to appear on the Electoral Register, you may be able to register as an anonymous elector.
This isn't the same as being removed from the Open Register. Anonymous electors are given a reference number so that their names and address don't appear on either versions of the Register. You can't register anonymously online and there is a different registration form for anonymous electors, so please contact us if you would like more information.
Viewing the Electoral Register
The Open Register is available for anyone, including individual people, to buy. The fees are set in legislation, please contact Electoral Services if you want a quotation.
The Full Register can be viewed by anyone at South Lakeland House, under supervision. You can take notes, but you can't take photocopies or photographs of any of the pages. South Lakeland House is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and you don't need to make an appointment to look at the Register.
The Electoral Register isn't available online and you can't look at previous versions of the Register at South Lakeland House. Some old registers however can be viewed at the British Library for research purposes only.
When we publish the Register
The register is created each year during the annual canvass, which starts in August and ends in November. We usually publish the new register each year on 1 December and it usually remains in force until 30 November the following year. We published the register earlier this year on 4 November 2019 because of the general election, which was held on 12 December 2019. This register will remain in force until 30 November 2020.
You don't need to wait to register to vote until the annual canvass, you can register at any time of the year. There is a process called rolling registration that allows us to publish an updated Register on the first working day of each month, with the exception of October and November.
We can't update the Register during the annual canvass, so if you apply after the August deadline, you will be added to the Register on 1 December.
Provide any information we have asked for by:
|To be on the Register published:|
|Friday 10 January 2020||Monday 20 January 2020||Monday 3 February 2020|
|Friday 7 February 2020||Monday 17 February 2020||Monday 2 March 2020|
|Tuesday 10 March 2020||Wednesday 18 March 2020||Wednesday 1 April 2020|
|Monday 30 March 2020||Tuesday 7 April 2020||Wednesday 8 April 2020|
|Tuesday 21 April 2020||Wednesday 29 April 2020||Thursday 30 April 2020 (this is the register that will be used for the local elections on 7 May 2020)|
|Thursday 7 May 2020||Monday 18 May 2020||Monday 1 June 2020|
|Tuesday 9 June 2020||Wednesday 17 June 2020||Wednesday 1 July 2020|
|Friday 10 July 2020||Monday 20 July 2020||Monday 3 August 2020|
|Monday 10 August 2020||Tuesday 18 August 2020||Tuesday 1 September 2020|
|Friday 20 November 2020||Monday 30 November 2020||Tuesday 1 December 2020|
Credit reference agencies
If you apply for things such as a mortgage, loan, mobile phone contract or credit card, credit reference agencies may check the electoral register to help them confirm your identity. Electoral registration isn't the only thing credit reference agencies look at, but don't wait until you need credit or finance to register to vote, they won't be able to find you on the register until we send them a monthly update or publish the register on 1 December, and this can take several weeks.
Notice of Verification Number for petitions
Each year we must publish the Verification Number for Petitions.
This is the minimum number of signatures that would be required for any petition asking for a referendum about a different form of governance, for example, changing to a mayoral system. The figure for petitions is 5% of the electorate.