Register of electors
The electoral register is a list of everyone who is registered to vote.
You can only vote at elections if you are on the electoral register. You are not automatically registered to vote just because you pay council tax or are registered for any other council service.
Boston Borough Council compiles the register of electors. This is a list of names and addresses of people who are registered to vote in elections. The list is updated throughout the year and is re-published on 1 December each year. Anyone whose name is not on the register cannot vote at any elections.
Who can register?
People who can register include:
• Anyone who is 18 years of age or over and is a British citizen, Irish or Commonwealth citizen (who are entitled to vote at any election)
• A European Union citizen (who are only entitled to vote at local elections or European Parliamentary elections, subject to the completion of a further form)
Electoral registration officers also ask for 16 and 17 year olds to be registered as it is possible that they will become 18 during the life of the next register. If this is the case, their names will appear on the register showing the date on which they will become 18. If an election is called on or after that date, that person will be eligible to vote.
The electoral registration officer is required to make and keep two versions of the electoral register - the full register and the edited register.
The full register
The full register lists everyone who is entitled to vote. Only certain people and organisations can have copies of the full register and they can only use it for specified purposes. These include electoral purposes, the prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you have applied for credit.
The law says who can have a copy of the full register and what they can use it for. The full list of people able to see it and for what purpose is given in the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002. It is a criminal offence for them to pass it on to anyone else or use it for any other purpose.
The open register
The open register leaves out the names and addresses of people who have asked for them to be excluded from that version of the register. This version of the register than can be bought by any individual or organisation who wishes to purchase it, and they can use it for any purpose.
You may choose to opt out of the open register. The registration forms have the facility of 'opting out' of the open version of the register. That means that the elector's name will only appear in the full register which has restricted access described above.
Viewing the electoral register
The full version of the current register is available for public inspection. However, the Representation of the People Regulations 2006 state that this inspection must take place under supervision and no copies may be taken either by photocopying, camera or downloading to a memory stick. However, handwritten notes may be made, but cannot be used for marketing purposes. The register can be inspected at the Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, during normal office hours Monday to Friday.
Anyone wishing to make an extended inspection should telephone 01205 314220/ 314221 to make appropriate arrangements.
The revised version of the full Register of Electors for the Boston Borough Council has been published and is available for inspection.