Full and open registers
Full and open registers
The full register lists the names and addresses of everyone registered to vote.
Circulation of the full register is strictly limited to individuals and organisations listed in the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001.
Recipients of the full register may only use it for the purposes specified by the Regulations, which are for electoral purposes, the prevention and detection of crime, safeguarding national security or checking the identities of individuals who have applied for financial services.
It is a criminal offence for any recipient to disclose information from the full register or to use it for any other purposes than those set out above.
The full register is updated monthly between December and September through rolling registration.
The open register leaves out the names and addresses of those electors who have requested on their applications to register that their names be excluded from this version.
This version of the register can legally be sold to anyone and used for any purpose, including direct marketing. If you do not want your details sold on to anyone else, you should tick the opt-out box on the registration form.
If you do not opt-out, your details will be shown on the open register which can be sold to direct marketing companies and anyone else who wants to buy it.
If you wish to withhold your details from the open register (otherwise known as "opt out"), you must apply to do so either:
- On the annual registration form, by clearly ticking the appropriate column every year; or
- At any time, by making a declaration to the Electoral Registration Officer that you require him as the data controller to cease, or not to begin, processing for the purposes of direct marketing your personal data in accordance with section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998**.
Any such declaration under option (2) above may be made:
By direct email to email@example.com. You must make it clear that you wish to make a declaration under section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998 and include your full name and address.
In writing to the Electoral Registration Officer at Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ. You must make it clear that you wish to make a declaration under section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998, include your full name and address and personally sign and date the application.
** Under section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998, an individual is entitled to prevent the processing of their personal data for the purpose of direct marketing. "Direct marketing" is defined in the Act as meaning the communication (by whatever means) of any advertising or marketing material which is directed to particular individuals. In relation to this provision, "personal data" means any information which relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data or from any other information which is in the possession of or is likely to come into the possession of the data controller (the Electoral Registration Officer of the London Borough of Brent).
Inspection of the register
The government has introduced arrangements for inspecting the full register to ensure that information provided can be safeguarded.
The full register can only be viewed under supervision at the Electoral Services office at Brent Civic Centre, Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm.
It is an offence to make copies other than by hand written notes, and even then there are strict restrictions on what the information can be used for.
Misuse of data from the full register could lead to a fine of up to £5,000.
Alternatively the edited register is available for inspection at any library in Brent.
Use of the register
Use of the electoral register
If you do not want direct or 'junk mail' sent to your home, ask the Mailing Preference Service to stop it. For more information about this useful service visit Mailing Preference Service at www.mpsonline.org.uk.
Credit reference agencies
The full register of electors can legally be sold to registered credit reference agencies. In order to find out what these credit reference agencies use your data for you can click on the links below.
Callcredit - www.callcredit.co.uk
Experian - www.experian.co.uk
Equifax - www.equifax.co.uk
Crediva - www.crediva.co.uk
Aristotle - although a registered credit refernece agency they deal directly with companies and not members of the public.
Online register searches
It is possible to search electoral registers using online commercial organisations.
However, these organisations are only entitled to be supplied with information included in the edited register.
You may find that your name appears on an online search despite you telling us that you do not want your name on the edited register.
This can happen if your details were passed on to the commercial organisation before you told us that you did not want to be on the edited register.
It may be that you have been living at your address since before 2002; when there was only one version of the register.
You should contact the commercial organisation if you want your name removed from their online search because your name is not on the up-to-date edited register.