Registration of electors
2.4The Representation of the People Act 1983 requires that registers of parliamentary electors are maintained by electoral registration officers in Great Britain and by the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland.1 In Great Britain, electoral registration officers have to conduct an annual canvass by reference to residence on 15 October. However, there is no longer a qualifying date for residence: applications for registration may be made at any time and the register is updated on a monthly basis as such applications are received.2 All persons who claim to vote at a parliamentary election must be registered before voting.3 At a general election a person is not entitled to vote in more than one constituency, or more than once in the same constituency at any parliamentary election.4
- 1. The register is prepared in two versions. The full register contains details of all those registered to vote in a given locality. An open register is available for sale for commercial uses, and electors may choose to opt out of inclusion. Copies of the full register of electors are deposited in the British Library and local councils hold copies; the current full register may be looked at under supervision. The rules governing the supply and use of the registers are found in the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/1871); see also the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Description of Electoral Registers and Amendment) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3198); Representation of the People Act 1983 as amended by the Representation of the People Act 2000, s 9.
- 2. Electoral Registration Act 1983, as amended by the Representation of the People Act 2000, ss 1–8 and sch 1. See also the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/341); The Representation of the People (Scotland) Regulations 2001 (SSI 2001/497). Supplementary provisions relating to registration in Northern Ireland were inserted into the 1983 Act by the Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Act 2002.
- 3. Representation of the People Act 1983, s 1(1); individual registration was introduced by the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013.
- 4. Representation of the People Act 1983, s 1(2).