The Electoral Register
Information about the full and edited registers of voters in West Berkshire
When you register to vote, your name is added to the electoral register, also known as the electoral roll. The register is used to organise elections and for other legal purposes set out in law.
Once you've registered to vote, your details will be stored on the 'full register' as a minimum, but it's up to you whether your details are also kept on the commercially available 'open register'.
The full electoral register
The full electoral register is a public document which lists the names of everyone who is registered to vote in the district.
There are strict rules about what the full register can be used for. It is mainly used to draw up the list of voters for UK elections and referendums, but is also used by credit reference agencies to check credit applications, and by public agencies for security, law enforcement and crime prevention purposes.
Those organisations entitled to copies of the full register, and details of what they can use it for, are given in the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002. It is a criminal offence not to comply with these regulations.
The current full register for West Berkshire is available to view, under supervision, between 9am to 5pm from Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4:30pm on Fridays, at the Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury. Please contact Electoral Services to arrange inspection.
Please note that:
- By law, we can only provide the current year's register for inspection - once a new register is published, the previous versions of both full and open registers are no longer available for public inspection
- It's not possible to take a copy or a photograph of the full register, but you're welcome to make notes by hand
- Names on the electoral register are listed by polling district and by street name and are not in alphabetical order
- It is not possible to search the register electronically
The open register
The open, or edited, version of the electoral register contains only the names and addresses of those people who have registered to vote, and who have not 'opted out' of being included (ie people who have not told the Electoral Registration Officer that they wish their details to be excluded from the open register).
The open register is available for general sale and can be used for any purpose, including commercial activities such as marketing.
If you want to opt-out from having your details appear on the open register, please indicate this on your registration form. The choice as to whether or not you wish your name and address to be omitted from the open register will continue indefinitely.
The current open register is also available for inspection at the Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury.
Buying a copy of the open register
If you would like to purchase a copy of the open register, please contact Electoral Services.
Historic electoral registers
Electoral Services does not retain historical copies of the electoral register.
You can view earlier versions of the register at Berkshire Record Office, who hold electoral registers for West Berkshire from 1839. If you wish to visit the Record Office it is advisable that you contact them in advance - you can find the Berkshire Record Office contact details on their website, here.
Other than the current registers, no historical registers are available for public inspection until they are 10 years old.