Register to vote
If you want to vote in the General Election on Thursday 7 May you must register to vote at GOV.UK.
Change your details on the Electoral Register
If you have moved, you will need to update your details on the Electoral Register.
Check the Electoral Register
Visit Walthamstow Library to check the Electoral Register to see if you are registered to vote.
Why you should register to vote
- It gives you a say on important issues that affect you
- If you don’t register, you can’t vote
- It gives you a say on who represents you in your local council, the UK Parliament and Europe
- Elections can be called at short notice, and if you’re not registered you won’t be able to vote
- Across the world people have died and are dying fighting for the right to vote and be part of a democracy
- Because it’s easier than you think
Why are there two registers?
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).
The electoral register
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections.
It is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.
The open register
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details.
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 does not affect your right to vote.
You can find more information about both registers and how they may be used at www.gov.uk/yourvotematters
Credit rating and the Electoral Register
If you are denied credit or are told you have a low credit score because your name is not on the Electoral Register, you can check the Register yourself via a public library, or purchase a certificate of Inclusion.
Am I eligible to vote?
Before you register to vote, you need to find out whether you are eligible to vote. To be eligible to vote in an election you must be:
- 18 years of age or over on polling day
- Resident in the UK
- On the electoral register
- Not subject to any legal incapacity to vote
- A British citizen, qualifying Commonwealth citizen or citizen of the Republic of Ireland
View a list of Commonwealth countries British overseas territories, and EU member states whose citizens are eligible to register to vote in the UK.
Members of HM Forces and their spouses, and Crown servants employed outside the United Kingdom can vote in elections.
If you are a European Union citizen but not a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen, you can vote in local and mayoral elections but not in the general election.
If you are an overseas elector, you can vote in the general election, but not in local and mayoral elections. You can choose to have your ballot paper sent to you overseas. However, it will only be sent out one or two weeks before an election, therefore, in order to ensure your vote is counted, you are strongly advised to vote by proxy.
For more information please visit About My Vote.
Sale of the Elector Register
The Electoral Register can be sold as a full or edited register.
The cost of purchasing a copy depends on how much of the register you require.
Please contact Electoral Services for further details.
Electoral Services charges 2014
Full register - published 17 February 2014
|*In data format (183,224 electors)||Price on application|
|*Paper copy||Price on application|
|Overseas electors register in data format (21 electors)||Price on application|
|Overseas electors register in paper copy||Price on application|
|Each monthly update in data format||Price on application|
|Each monthly update on paper||Price on application|
|Copy of street index||Price on application|
Open register – published 17 February 2014
|*In data format (102,912 electors)||Price on application|
|*Paper copy||Price on application|
|One year registration confirmation letter (voter)||Price on application|
Charges for items below are payable in advance
|One year commercial company/solicitor/lawyer charge||Price on application|
|Up to 5 years back search and confirmation letter (voter)||Price on application|
|Back search and confirmation letter (commercial companies)||Price on application|
|6-10 years back search and confirmation letter (voter)||Price on application|
|Over 10 years up to 25 years (voter). Over 25 years POA||Price on application|
|Each A4 page photocopying||Price on application|
|Certificate of Life or forms requiring LBWF stamp||Price on application|
* Prices include relevant handling charges. Postage incurs an additional charge
Certificate of Life
We can also provide "Certificates of Life" for pensioners who receive a war pension from abroad where a form requires an official body to confirm that the person in receipt of the payment is still alive.
If you want to use this service, please call in to our office and bring your passport. Once we have checked you are on our register, we will stamp the form to confirm that we have seen you. The charge for this service is £5. Where possible please provide an English translation of your documentation.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- How do I check if my name is on the register?
- How can I view the electoral register?
- How can I obtain a copy of the electoral register?
- When is the electoral register published?
- What is the difference between the electoral (full) register and the open (edited) register?
- How do I opt out of being included in the open register?