The register of electors (sometimes called the 'electoral roll' or the 'electoral register') lists the names and addresses of everyone who's registered to vote. It's normally published on 1 December each year and is in force until 30 November the following year.
There are two versions of the register:
- the full register of electors
- the open register of electors (previously known as the 'edited register' of electors)
Viewing the register of electors
The (full) register of electors (in book form, following a ward structure and ordered by address within each ward) is available to view at the York Explore Library (it cannot be searched by an elector’s name).
Anyone can view the full register to either check their name has been included, or to make an objection to any entry.
In accordance with regulation 7 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002, the following rules apply to anyone viewing the full register:
- the register is open to public inspection, under supervision
- extracts from the register may be recorded only by making handwritten notes
- photocopying or electronic recording, photographing or scanning is not permitted
- 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 edited version of the register
Anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence and could be fined up to £5000.
Buying the open register of electors
Only the open Register or Electors is available for general sale; it can be bought in whole or in part, and the information it includes can be used for any purpose.
Buying the full register of electors
Section 114 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 allows only legally registered credit reference agencies to buy a copy of the full Register of Electors, each year when it's published. This is to help with fraud checking - these agencies cannot pass on your details if you have opted out of the open register.
To purchase a copy of the register, an agency must be registered under Part III of the Consumer Credit Act 1974(a) (by virtue of section 147 of that Act) and provide credit reference services with the purpose of:
- vetting applications for credit or applications that can result in the giving of credit or the giving of any guarantee, indemnity or assurance in relation to the giving of credit
- meeting any obligations contained in the Money Laundering Regulations 1993(a), the Money Laundering Regulations 2001(b) or any rules made pursuant to section 146 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000(c)
- statistical analysis of credit risk assessment in a case where no person whose details are included in the full register is referred to by name or necessary implication
Our Electoral Registration Office assists with registering to vote and supports the election process, we do not:
- have any communication with credit reference agencies about individual credit records
- assist in any credit queries
- help with any errors that credit reference agencies hold on their records, including incorrect address details or registration history
- provide written or verbal confirmation that someone is registered to vote, to any person/organisations whether they are legally entitled to a copy of the full register of electors or not
- provide written confirmation of residency, or entry on the Register of Electors, as under Regulations 94 and 107 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002