What is the Open Register?
There are two versions of the electoral register: the full register and the open register.
The full register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote, and also for other limited purposes such as:
Detecting crime (e.g. fraud)
Calling people up for jury service
Checking credit applications
The open register, also called the edited register, contains the same information as the full register but is not used for elections or referendums. Like the full register, the open register is updated and published every month (except during the annual Canvass period from September to December).
However, the open register can be sold to any person, organisation or company for a wide range of purposes, including businesses and charities checking name and address details, direct marketing (junk mail) and online directory firms.
You can choose whether or not to have your personal details included in the open version of the register; however they will be included unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register will not affect your right to vote and will not affect your credit rating.
How can I opt out of the open register?
You may have already opted out of the open register - Under Article 21 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), once you have opted out of the open register you will not need to do so again, unless you make a new registration to vote at a different address. If you are unsure whether you are opted out, please contact the Democratic and Electoral Services team who will be able to advise you.
If you are not already opted out you can make a request at any time to your local Electoral Registration Officer for your details to be removed from the open register. The easiest way to do this is by emailing your request to email@example.com stating your full name and address. You can also make a request via telephone on 01494 732014 or via post to:
The Electoral Registration Officer
South Bucks District Council
Once your request has been received we will change your details on the electoral register accordingly and changes will take effect the next time the register is updated.
Why can't I change the opt out status of my partner/family/housemates?
Under the Individual Electoral Registration (IER) legislation, each individual is responsible for their own electoral registration. This means that each elector may only change their own opt out status; a request cannot be made on behalf of another person.
I have opted out of the open register but I am still receiving junk mail, why is this?
Under previous legislation electors were required to confirm their opt out status every year. This meant that if you previously opted out of the open register but did not confirm your preference during the annual canvass every year you may have been included on the open register until you requested to opt out again. Similarly, if you did not opt out of the open register when you registered to vote but have do so since, your details will have been included on the open register until you changed your opt out status. Therefore, companies may have purchased a previous version of the open register with your details included on it, and may still be using that data.
If you wish to remove your details from online directories, and you are already opted out of the open register, you will need to contact them directly to request this.
What if I change my mind?
If you decide later that you would like to be included on the open register, please contact us and we will make the change.