Register of Electors
The Electoral Register is a list of everyone who is registered to vote. You can only vote at elections if you are on the Electoral Register.
*You are not automatically registered to vote just because you pay Council Tax or are registered for any other council service.
South Kesteven District Council compiles the Register of Electors. This is a list of names and addresses of people who are registered to vote in elections. The list is updated throughout the year and is re-published on 1st December each year. Anyone whose name is not on the register cannot vote at any elections.
The way we all register to vote has changed
The registration system changed from 10 June 2014. The new system is called 'Individual Electoral Registration'.
How is the new system different?
- You can now register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- Everyone is responsible for registering themselves. Under the old system the 'head of every household' could register everyone who lived at their address.
- You need to provide a few more details to register - including your national insurance number and date of birth. This makes the electoral register more secure.
How do I register under the new system?
1) Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
2) Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You'll also need your national insurance number, which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits.
3) Look out for a confirmation to say you're registered.
Will I need to do anything?
1) Initial letters were sent out during July/August and reminder letters and visits are taking place from September 2014.Most people who are already registered to vote will be registered automatically under the new system. They do not need to do anything. However, some people will need to take action to join the new register. We are writing to people to tell them whether they need to take action.
2) Respond to the letter if you are asked toThe letter will tell you whether you are on the new register or whether you need to take action. It will tell you what to do.
To find out more go to www.gov.uk/yourvotematters
Who can register?
People who can register include:
- Anyone who is 18 years old or more and is a British citizen or an Irish or Commonwealth citizen (who are entitled to vote at any election). Anyone who is 16 or 17 can register and will be able to vote after their 18th birthday.
- A European Union citizen (who is only entitled to vote at European Parliamentary or local elections, subject to the completion of a further form).
There are two registers. Why?
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited 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 for 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 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 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 and 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 fundraising 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 lines;
- 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.
Viewing the Electoral Register
The Electoral Register is available for inspection. However the Representation of the People Regulations require that this inspection must take place under supervision and no copies may be taken either by photocopying, camera or downloading to a memory stick. However, handwritten notes may be made, but cannot be used for marketing purposes. It can be inspected at the Council Offices, St Peter's Hill, Grantham during normal office hours Monday to Friday, and copies are also available for inspection at our 3 area offices in Stamford, Bourne and Market Deeping.
Anyone wishing to make an extended search should telephone electoral services on 01476 406080 to make appropriate arrangements in advance.