The Register of Electors (otherwise known as the electoral roll) lists the name and address of everyone who has registered to vote. By law, your local authority has to make the electoral register available for anyone to look at. The register is held at the local electoral registration office.
Until fairly recently, any company, organisation or person could buy a copy of the register. The Government has changed the law so that now you have some choice about who can buy details of your name and address. Under the changes there are two versions of the register: the full version and the edited version. When you fill in your electoral registration form, you will be able to choose whether you want your details included in the edited register.
The full register has the names and addresses of everyone registered to vote.
Only certain people and organisations can have copies of the full register and they can only be used for specified purposes. These include electoral purposes, the prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you have applied for credit. Credit reference agencies are also allowed to use the full register, but only to check your name and address if you are applying for credit and to help stop 'money laundering'.
Anyone who has a copy of the register will be committing a criminal offence if they unlawfully pass on information from it. The law says who can have a copy of the full register and what they can use it for. The full list of such persons and purposes is given in the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002.
You do not have a choice about your name and address being on this register.
Viewing the Full Register
You can look at full version of the register under supervision but you must make an appointment first with the Elections Office 01768 212253 / 212122.
The edited register leaves out the names and addresses of people who have asked for their names to be excluded from that version of the register. The edited register can be bought by anyone who asks for a copy and they may use it for any purpose. You can choose not to be on this register. It will be kept separate from the full register. The edited register can be bought by any person, company or organisation and could be used for different purposes such as checking your identity and commercial activities such as marketing. The edited register can be inspected at the reception desk at the Town Hall, Penrith.
If you do tick the box on the voter registration form, your name and address will only appear on the full register, which will only be used for certain lawful purposes, such as elections, law enforcement and checking applications for credit.
If you do not tick the box on the voter registration form, your name will also appear on the edited version of the register which anyone can buy. This means anyone can use your details for any purpose.
Apply to be on the Register
You can apply to be included on the register during the annual canvass of electors or under the rolling registration scheme see how to register as an elector.
For further information:
Contact: Elections, Town Hall, Penrith CA11 7QF
Telephone: 01768 212253 / 212122
Fax: 01768 890470