Website URL : http://www.cherwell.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=10051

Electoral register

We compile and publish an annual Register of Electors and process applications throughout the year for inclusion in the Register.

There are two registers. Why?

Using information received from the public, the Electoral Registration Officer keeps two versions of the register - the electoral register and the open register.

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote, these registers are available for inspection by the public.

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 it not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. 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, in order to help 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 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

Inspecting the Register

The open register and monthly updates to the open register are available for inspection at Cherwell District Council.

The Full Register is also available for inspection on request, and may be inspected under supervision.

Please remember ...

  • If you are a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union Citizen, you need to be on the Electoral Register to be able to vote
  • If you want to restrict who has access to your name and address on the Electoral Register, you must tell the Electoral Registration Officer that you want your details removed from the open register
  • If you move house, you can register at your new address at any time of the year
  • If you're living away from home (eg. as a student), you can register at more than one address, but you can only vote ONCE in any single election

To register is easy and takes approximately 5 minutes. The link can be found to the right of this page. Fill in your name, address, date of birth and your national insurance number along with a few other details (you can find your national insurance number on payslips, NI card etc)

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