What is the Electoral Roll

What is the Electoral Roll?

Electoral Roll Search

What is the Electoral Roll and how can you use it to find a person? Well there is lots of information on this site about finding people for free and we do have a page dedicated to Electoral Roll Searches but this page is here to let you know exactly what is meant by the Electoral Roll, its back ground information so you can see what it is and how it works.

Registration to vote is the bedrock of the democratic process, and it’s important that electoral registers are as complete and accurate as possible – so everyone who is entitled to vote can, and no one is on the register who shouldn’t be.

The electoral roll (also known as Voters roll searches and Electoral register searches) is a list of people who are eligible to vote but and this is the important bit, it also contains their address. To be able to vote you need to be one of the following:

  • a UK citizens
  • a qualifying Commonwealth citizens
  • a citizen of any EU country resident in the UK
  • a certain UK citizens that live or work abroad

The electoral roll is updated yearly and is held at your local electoral registration office (usually the local council office in England and Wales). The Northern Ireland electoral register is held by the central Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

Searching the electoral roll online is a great way to find people, it can give you their current address and tell you how long they have lived at an address. Companies can provide ways to search the voters roll but you cannot search the electoral roll for free, you would usually expect to pay up to five pounds to perform an electoral roll search.

There are two version of the electoral registry, a full version and an edited version.  Viewing the full electoral registry for free can be done by anyone. The full register is used for voting and its supply and use is restricted by law.  However, every person has a legal right to access this version of the electoral registry for free as long as they are supervised.  Copies of the register are available to certain groups and individuals, such as credit reference agencies and political parties. If you want to view the full register you would have to do so via your local council.

The full register contains the following information:

  • voter number (two letters indicating the polling district, followed by a number)
  • voter’s name and address
  • date of birth (if 18th birthday falls within a year of the register is published)
  • if the voter has requested a postal vote
  • after an election, an indication of whether or not that voter cast their vote

Many people perform free electoral roll searches to help them find lost friends and family or who are compiling their family tree.

Since 2003 people who register to vote do not necessarily appear on the electoral registry.  Some people will may have exercised their right to be omitted or ‘opt-out’ of the registry and this is the second version.  This edited version is not free to view but can be purchased by anyone for any purpose.

Currently, up to the 2011 Electoral Roll can be searched on-line. We hope we helped you understand what is the Electoral Roll.