Elections - electoral register
What is the Register of Electors?
The Register of Electors is the list of people
who are eligible to vote. It is compiled and published by the
Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) in all local authorities each
year following the Annual Canvass. This year, for the first time,
the revised Register of Electors will be published on Tuesday 16
October 2012 due to the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC)
Elections which will be held on Thursday 15 November 2012.
When is the Annual Electoral Canvass held?
The canvass has been brought forward this
year, it commenced on Friday 8 June when approximately 69,000 forms
were sent out. Every residential property in the Borough will
receive an Annual Canvass form. This includes every house, flat,
bed-sit, houseboat and caravan. Homeless persons are also entitled
to register. If you have not received a form or you have mislaid
it, you should contact us directly.
Please help us cut costs by sending back
the first form as soon as possible.
If you have not responded by Monday 16 July
2012 you may receive a visit from a Community Canvasser who will
have a reminder form for your property which they will ask you to
complete at the door. They are happy to help you complete the form
and will answer any questions you have about it. The Community
Canvassers will bring the completed forms back to the office saving
money on the return postage.
Please note that due to the volume of
work involved in publishing the revised Register of Electors by
Tuesday 16 October 2012, we cannot guarantee your inclusion unless
your details are submitted by Monday 8 October 2012.
It is an offence not to supply the information
required, or to give false information. The maximum fine is
The Rolling Register, introduced in February
2001, enables people to register to vote as and when they change
The Full and Edited Register?
Since 1 December 2002, the Electoral Registration Officer is
required to keep two versions of the register - the Full
Register and the Edited Register.
The Full Register lists
everyone who is entitled to vote. Only certain people and
organisations can have copies of the Full Register and they can
only use it for specified purposes e.g. for elections, law
enforcement and credit referencing. The full list of such persons
and the purposes for which they can use it are given in the
Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment)
Regulations 2002. It is a criminal offence for them to pass it on
to anyone else or use it for any other purpose.
The Edited Register leaves
out the names and addresses of people who have asked for their
details to be excluded from that version of the register. This
register can be bought by anyone who asks for a copy and they may
use it for any purpose. When registering, electors will be given
the choice of whether they want their name and address included in
the edited version or not. To 'opt out' of the edited version of
the register, electors should tick the appropriate box on the
registration form delivered to their property.
Permanent Opt Out of the Edited Register
Electors can choose to opt out of the Edited Register
permanently. To do this each elector must advise us by writing to
Registration Services, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone,
Kent ME15 6JQ or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
. If your name is on the Edited Register and you choose to opt out
permanently your name will be removed the next time the Edited
Register is published. If you move house you will have to advise us
(or the local authority that covers your new home) of your decision
to opt out permanently once again. Electors details are not carried
forward from property to property, similarly you have to re-apply
for a postal vote when you move house.
What does the Register look like?
The Register is published in address order. The roads are shown
in alphabetical order and in each road the names of eligible
electors are shown against the house number. It does not give
titles such as Mr., Mrs. etc. It does not show telephone numbers or
ages, other than those electors who will reach voting age during
the lifespan of that Register.
Where can I see the Register?
The Full Register of Electors is available for
public inspection, under supervision at the Council
Offices, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15
6JQ. There is no charge for this as the Full Register of Electors
is a public document.
Extracts from this register may only be
recorded by making hand written notes. Photocopying or
electronic recording are not permitted by law. Information taken
from this register must not be used for commercial
purposes, unless the information has been published in the edited
version of the register.
Can the Register of Electors be purchased?
The Full Register can only be purchased by
those people or organisations set out in legislation and the
information can only be used for the purposes specified.
The Edited Register can be purchased from the
council by anyone and the information used for any purpose.
We require you to either write, phone or visit to let us know which
parts of the Edited Register you wish to purchase and we will
charge you the appropriate fee.
Neither the Full or the Edited
Register are held on-line.
Are there any regulations or legislation for me to read?
Legislation is available and can be accessed by visiting the
Who is entitled to Register?
You are entitled to register if you are able
to satisfy the following criteria:
- you are a British, Commonwealth
or Irish citizen, or a citizen of one of the European
Union Member States and you are or will reach the age of 18
during the life of the Register - this means that anyone who is 16
or 17 at the time of the annual canvass should be included on the
registration form as they may become 18 whilst the Register is in
- lodgers or people staying at the address who
have no other home.
- anyone who normally lives at the address but
is away temporarily. This includes people in hospital, students,
anyone on holiday or working away for less than 6 months.
The annual canvass is based upon circumstances
as they stand on 15 October. When completing the registration form
during the canvass, it is important that everyone who normally
lives at the address who satisfy the above criteria is included.
Don't forget to register anyone who is temporarily absent.
Special registration arrangements exist for
British citizens resident overseas, patients in mental hospitals,
remand prisoners, members and partners of the armed forces, Crown
Servants and British Council employees.
What if my name is missing from the Register?
If you cannot find your name on the Register,
or if you have recently moved into the borough, you can request an
Electoral Registration Form. This asks for details of your full
name, your present address, your old address and your
nationality. A separate form needs to be completed by each
person who must sign his or her own form.
Registration Services will issue a monthly
update, called a "List of Alterations". In 2012 it will be
published every month except for August, September and October.
When we receive your form, and if everything
is in order, your name will be shown in the List of Alterations.
Your details will take between two and six weeks to be added to the
Register dependent on when your form is received.
You will be sent an acknowledgement from the
ERO when you have been added to the Register.
What about Credit Ratings?
The Register of Electors is public information and purchased by
Credit Reference Agencies. They then supply details to financial
institutions who supply items on credit and/or lend money. If you
are not on the Register of Electors and should be, you are likely
to experience difficulties in obtaining such services.
Can I Register Twice?
You can register for more than one address. If
you are a student studying away from home, at college or
university, you can register to vote at both
your home and term-time address.
You can also register for two addresses if you
have a second home and live there regularly.
Both students and those with a second home
have the right to vote in respect of both addresses at the time of
a local election but must choose only one address to vote in
respect of when parliamentary elections are held.
Not everyone likes junk mail. Opting out of
the Edited Register should cut down the amount of junk mail that
However, if the problem still persists you can
write to the following address to ask for it to be stopped:
The Mailing Preference Service,
London W1E 7EZ