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Using the Electoral Register

The Electoral Register, also known as the Electoral Roll, is a list of every person who is registered to vote in this country.

Peopletracer gathers details from this registration process to use in its people finding databases and by signing up to one of our search packages, you can use Peopletracer to find the names and contact details of the people you have lost touch with over the years.

Here is a guide to everything you need to know about the Electoral Register, with tips on how you can best use this document to track down that missing person.

What is the Electoral Roll?

As previously mentioned, the Electoral Roll is a list of every registered voter in the country. This list is used by the government for electoral purposes, to ensure only eligible people are able to vote and therefore prevent electoral fraud.

As a citizen of a democratic country, if your details do not appear on the Electoral Register then you are not entitled to vote and therefore you will not be able to have your say on aspects of how this country is run.

NB: Eligible voters are UK citizens over the age of 18, however you can register yourself to vote if you are younger, you just won't be able to vote in an election/referendum until you reach legal age.

What information is captured on the Electoral Register?

  • Surname
  • First name
  • Address
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Previous registered addresses
  • Previous local council
  • Declaration, date and signature
  • A tick box if you would like the electoral commission to send you more information about voting by post or by proxy.
  • Box to tick if you only want to be included on the full version of the Electoral Roll

The Electoral Roll will not customarily contain details of the following;

  • Members of the House of Lords
  • Foreign national residents in the UK (apart from Commonwealth/Irish Republic citizens)
  • Patients detained under mental health legislation
  • Sentenced prisoners and those convicted of electoral fraud or corruption within the last five years

To find out more about registering your vote check out aboutmyvote.co.uk

There are two versions of the Electoral Register that are produced annually, the full and the edited editions;

The Full Electoral Register

By law, the government's electoral commissioning body must canvas the UK populous annually in order to show that they have the accurate contact details of every registered voter in the UK. This measure not only prevents electoral fraud, the list is also used to select citizens for jury duty and is made available to credit companies to check the details of people who are applying for a loan.

The entire document is published once a year but details on the full Electoral Register are updated every month. This is known as the rolling register. If you are looking for someone who is over the age of 18, then it is likely that their details will be included on the Electoral Roll.

The Edited Electoral Register

This edition is an abridged version of the full Electoral Roll; the key difference is that UK citizens can choose to have their contact details exempt from publication by ticking a box on the voter registration form.

Prior to 2003, there was one publicly available Electoral Register without specific restrictions on use or any facility to opt-out.

Since 2003, the edited version of the Electoral Register has been available for the public to view and a subscription to Peopletracer will give you access to Electoral Roll records from 2002 right up until the present day.

Copies of the full Electoral Register are protected by law and have viewing restrictions placed upon them. Read on to find out more about the full Electoral Roll and the Data Protection Act (1998).

The Electoral Roll and the Data Protection Act (1998) Copies of the full Electoral Register are divided into council constituencies and stored at district Electoral Registration Offices around the country. In order to view these official documents, usually you will have to write to the local record keeper to ask for permission to view the records in compliance with the Data Protection Act (1998).

The view restrictions applied to Electoral Roll data are as follows; • You can only view the register under strict supervision. • You are only permitted to make handwritten notes of the details you see. • Photocopying documents is forbidden. • Making electronic copies of the document is also forbidden. • The public is only permitted to view the current year's full Electoral Register and versions of the document which are more than 10 years old.

For more information on viewing restrictions and the Data Protection Act (1998) please refer to the electoral commission website. However, if you want to search the edited version of the Electoral Register, along with data from the UK's Official Telephone directories then read on to find out how you can use Peopletracer to find the people you're looking for.

Getting started in your search

To get started in your search, create an account with Peopletracer and sign up to one of our great value packages. We provide access to millions of Electoral Roll profiles and records from the UK's official Telephone Directory. We also ensure that our search engines contain the most accurate and up-to-date information by adding thousands of new records every single day.

We have packages to suit your needs and budget. Our bronze package for example, is great for searching for one person in particular, whereas our larger packages work better for those who are looking for more people. To find out more about how many credits a search will use, take a look at our credit usage page.


Using the Electoral Roll to find people

1. Searching Names

In order to get started in your search, the minimum information required is the person's name. Even if you only know the person's first initial and surname, you can still conduct a successful search on Peopletracer.

2. Searching Addresses

By including information in your search about the person's last known address or their rough geographical location (such as city), you can help Peopletracer refine your search results. This will be especially useful if the person you're looking for has a common surname such as 'Smith.'

People Finding Tips

  • Before beginning your search, note down all of the details you remember about the person you're looking for. Things such as the person's maiden name, names and addresses of parents and siblings, their date of birth, any old landline telephone numbers you have, as these will help you rule out any namesakes that might appear in your results.
  • If your search does come up with namesakes that turn out not to be the correct person, note down these details as well as they will help you remember which avenues were unsuccessful.
  • Peopletracer's specialised marriage search can help you track down people who may have changed their surname. The results will show you the person's current full name and the name of their partner.
  • Peopletracer also holds data on registered births in the UK from 1984-2006. And if you don't know the person's exact year of birth, Peopletracer will allow you to estimate to within a five year window, which will hopefully still bring up a successful result.
  • Similar to Peopletracer’s birth search, our deaths search will allow you to check records of registered deaths to within a five year window. This is especially useful if you're looking for someone who is difficult to track down and that you fear may have died. Our database contains records of every registered death from 1976-2006.

Peopletracer Search Results

As contact records come from the Electoral Register, searching with Peopletracer will bring up a wealth of information. For example, you can see the person's full address, telephone number and the names of other residents that live in the property. You can also find out more details about the property itself, such as its purchase price the last time it was sold and the names of any previous occupants. Details of previous occupants may be useful for those of you who are looking for someone you suspect may have moved house as you could try contacting the current residents to see if they have information about your missing person's whereabouts.

Peopletracer also utlises Google Maps which will show a pin icon of the property's location on a map and nearby landmarks. To use the Street View feature, drag and drop the icon of the ‘orange man’ into the location pin of the search result.

Search Report

Changes to Voter Registration (June 2014)

Under new government legislation, the way citizens register their vote will change from June 2014. Previously, voters were canvassed as a household and the 'head of the house' would provide the details of every eligible voter under the roof. However, to better protect against electoral fraud, under the new system, adults will have to register their vote on an individual basis.

Most existing electoral records will be transferred to the new system automatically. However for the first time ever, people over the age of 18 will be able to register their vote online.

More on the Electoral Roll from the Peopletracer blog

Road to Universal Suffrage – ER registration in the UK

Individual Electoral Registration to be introduced in England and Wales for 2014

How voting registration has changed in the past 200 years