The two types of electoral register
When you register to vote, your name is added to the electoral register. This register is used for elections and other legal purposes set out in law. It is also used by credit reference agencies.
Your details will be stored on the full register, but it is up to you whether your details are also kept on the commercially available edited register.
The full register
There are strict rules about what the full register can be used for
The full electoral register is a public document which lists the names of everyone who is registered to vote. 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.
Those entitled to copies of the full register and 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 Manchester* is available to be viewed under supervision from 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday in the Town Hall, please report to the Customer Service Centre, Town Hall Extension, Manchester.
By law, we can only provide the current year's register for inspection.
It is not possible to take a copy or a photograph of the full register but handwritten notes can be taken.
Please note: 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 edited register
The 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" i.e. people who have not told the Electoral Registration Officer that they wish their details to be excluded from it.
The edited 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 of having your details appear on the edited register, please indicate this on your registration form.
If you are completing an annual registration form for the household, you must also ask each person named on the form if they wish to opt out, then tick the box opposite their name.
Permanently 'opt out' of the edited register.
Under Section 11 of the Data protection Act 1998, you can give the Electoral Services Officer notice that you do not want your personal information to be used for direct marketing either permanently or until further notice.
To do this, write or email the Electoral Registration Officer stating that you wish to permanently opt out of the edited register.
You cannot do this on behalf of another person. Each individual who is registered to vote at a property must complete a form, sign a letter or email the Electoral Services Unit separately that they want to do this.
Buying a copy of the edited register
If you would like to purchase a copy of the edited register, please contact the Electoral Services Unit .