Register of Electors
Household Enquiry Forms will be arriving at every house in the Borough in early August. You should respond to this form as soon as possible to let us know whether the details printed on it are still correct, or if there are any changes to be made. If your name is not printed on the form, you will need to apply to register as well as responding to the household form. You can do this on the gov.uk Register to Vote website. See the 'How to Register to Vote' page for more details.
Being on the electoral register is not just important for voting; credit reference agencies use the register to check where you live when you apply for credit.
There are two registers. Why?
Using information received from the public, electoral registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and the open register.
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections.
The register is used for electoral purposes - such as making sure only eligible people can vote - and for other limited purposes specified in law. The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data protection legislation.
Who uses the electoral register?
- Election staff, political parties, candidates and holders of elected office use the register for electoral purposes.
- Your local council and the British Library hold copies that anyone may look at under supervision. A copy is also held by the Electoral Commission, the Boundary Commissions (which set constituency boundaries for most elections) and the Office of National Statistics.
- The Council can use the register 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 register is used when calling people for jury service.
- Government departments may buy the register from local electoral registration officers and use it to help prevent and detect crime. They can also use it to safeguard national security by checking the background of job applicants and employees.
- Credit reference agencies can buy the register. 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.
It is a criminal offence for anyone to supply or use the register for anything else.
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but it is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data protection legislation.
Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register would not affect your right to vote.
Who uses the open register?
Users of the open register include:
- Businesses checking the identity and address details of people who apply for their services such as insurance, goods hire and property rental, as well as when they shop online;
- Businesses selling age-restricted goods or services, such as alcohol or gambling online, to meet the rules on verifying the age of their customers;
- Charities and voluntary agencies, for example to help maintain contact information for those who have chosen to donate bone marrow and to help people separated by adoption to find each other;
- Charities, to help with fund raising and contacting people who have made donations;
- Debt collection agencies when tracing people who have changed address without telling their creditors;
- Direct marketing firms when maintaining their mailing lists;
- Landlords and letting agents when checking the identity of potential tenants;
- Local councils when identifying and contacting residents;
- Online directory firms to help users of the websites find people, such as when reuniting friends and families;
- Organisations tracing and identifying beneficiaries of wills, pensions and insurance policies;
- Private sector firms to verify details of job applicants.
Under section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998, you can give the Electoral Registration Officer notice that you do not want your personal information to be used for direct marketing. To do this you should click on the 'Remove me from the Open Register' link on the right hand side of this page. If your name already appears on the Electoral Register, this request will come into effect from the next revision of the open register following receipt of this request, but will not alter any previously published open registers. If you are not already registered, you can ask for your name not to be included on the Open Electoral Register as part of your registration. Please note, this request will not alter any previous open registers that your name has appeared on.
Inspection of the Electoral Register
The current electoral register and monthly alteration notices are available for inspection under supervision at the Council Offices, Foster Avenue, Beeston from Monday to Friday between 10:00am and 12:00pm and 2:00pm and 4:00pm.
Previous years' registers can only be viewed once they are over 10 years old. They are available at the Nottinghamshire Archives. For more information and contact details for the Nottinghamshire Archives, please click on the link on the right hand side of the page.
Please note that in accordance with the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002, the following rules apply to everyone inspecting the full register of electors:
- Extracts from the register may be recorded only by making hand written notes. Photocopying or electronic recording are not permitted by law.
- Information taken from the register must not be used for direct marketing purposes (as per section 11(3) of the Data Protection Act 1998), unless the information has been published in the open version of the register.
Under these regulations, anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence. The penalty is a fine of up to £5,000.
Buying the Open Register
The open register is publicly available and can be bought, in whole or in part, and used for any purpose. Information on the cost of buying the open register is available from Electoral Services.
Page Last Updated: 30/07/2015
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