Electoral Register

Why are there two registers?

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

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. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:

  • detecting crime (e.g. fraud)
  • calling people for jury service
  • checking credit applications

The Open Register

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.

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 does not affect your right to vote.

You can find more information about both registers and how they may be used at: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

How do I opt out of the Open Register?

If you wish to permanently opt out you should either:

  • Download, complete and return a signed: Open Register Permanent Opt Out Request Form (Word)  - every person in household who wishes to opt out must sign
  • Email: registration@harlow.gov.uk - including your full name and address, to receive your form
  • Write to: Electoral Services, Latton Bush Centre, Southern Way, Harlow, Essex CM18 7BL - including your full name and address, to receive your form.
  • Call the Helpline: 01279 446042 to request your form

What do I do if I need to change my name, address or other details on the electoral register?

You can update your name, address or other details on the electoral register at: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Alternatively, you can contact us for a form. You may need to provide proof for the change.

How do I remove someone from the Electoral Register?

If someone has moved out of your property and you need to get their name removed from the Electoral Register you can contact us in writing with the person’s full name and details of the address that they have moved from. Depending on any other information that we can obtain, we will either be able to automatically delete the person’s registration or we will conduct a review of their registration entitlement.

If someone has passed away and their details need to be removed from the electoral register please contact us in writing to let us know the person’s full name and the address where they were registered. If possible, please also provide a copy of their death certificate. This will enable us to automatically cancel their registration. If we do not receive a copy of their death certificate and cannot verify the person’s death using other records, we will have to conduct a review in order to remove them from the electoral register.

Your personal information

We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not give personal information about you and the other people in your household to anyone.

Anonymous Registration

There is now a provision in the legislation (RPA 1983 sec 9B) for people to register anonymously. Anonymous electors can vote in the normal way however they will be allocated an electoral number and will be shown in the Electoral Register as that elector number with the letter 'N' but no name or address shown. Anonymous registration is used when a person's (or another member of their household) safety is a risk and each application must be supported by one of the following:

  • Court order/injunction which must be in force on the day of the application
  • Attestation by a qualifying officer - either the Chief of Police of any police force in England and Wales, The Director General of Security Services or the Serious Organised Crime Agency or a Director of Adult Social Services.

Please note that the qualifying officer does not have to be based in the same area as the applicant, but the attestation cannot be delegated to a more junior person within the organisation.

Public inspection of the Electoral Register

The new register published on 1 December 2016 is available for inspection at the Civic Centre.

The Electoral Register contains the names of all those registered to vote in Harlow. It is open to public inspection, under staff supervision only at the Civic Centre. Information from this register may be recorded only by making hand written notes. Photocopying or electronic recording are not allowed by law. Information taken from the Electoral Register must not be used for direct marketing purposes, if the elector has “opted out” from the Open Register.

Sale and supply of the Electoral Register

The Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001, restricts the sale of the Electoral Register to certain government departments and credit reference agencies. The fee is calculated in accordance with section 111 paragraph 5.

The Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001, states that anyone can purchase a copy of the open register on payment of a fee calculated in accordance with section 10 paragraph 2.

a.    in data form, the fee shall be at the rate of £20 plus £1.50 for each 1,000 entries (or remaining part of 1,000) in it.

b.    in printed form the fee shall be at the rate of £10 plus £5 for each 1,000 entries (or remaining part of 1,000) in it.

If you want to purchase the open register please contact Electoral Services and we will calculate the cost and explain payment details.

Electoral Services contact details

Electoral Services
Latton Bush Centre
Southern Way
CM18 7BL

Tel: 01279 446042
Fax: 01279 446464
email: registration@harlow.gov.uk