Register – Registration, Draft Register, Full Register
Register is the single most important document in any election campaign.
Without it you will not know who is eligible to vote, therefore to whom
your campaign should be addressed. Electoral Registers are complied
for each polling district separately.
Register is compiled each year by your local authority, in county areas
this is carried out by the district council. Each year, usually between
August and October each local authority writes to every address in its
area seeking confirmation of the names of the residents who are over
the age of 18 or will be over the age of 18 during the forthcoming electoral
year. The returns from this process are complied into the Electoral
Register. Copies of the Electoral register are made available to all
interested parties so if you serious about standing as a candidate and
you notify the electoral registration officer of your intention s/he
will supply you with copies, usually free of charge. Although in some
areas elections are infrequent some district council elect ‘by
thirds’. This means that a third of the seats are up for election
in a four-year cycle. The fourth year of the cycle is the year the county
council seat would be up for election, so in these areas voters go to
the polls at least once a year. London Boroughs are completely different
as they elect full councils once every four years.
Register is an interim document issued around December containing the
electoral details of those people who have registered to vote by then.
This is used by the Electoral Registration Officer to chase up those
addresses from which there has not yet been a response to the original
request for details. Some local parties use the draft register to see
if their known supporters are registering in sufficient numbers. It
is not unknown for parties to then target their own supporters with
a request to register in time for those supporters to also be included
in the Full Register, which is usually issued in February and which
comes into effect at the end March. If this is not your first election
and you have followed the procedures set our on this site, you should
have a list of declared supporters and you can use the Draft Register
as a tool to ensure that they register the following year.
Register is usually made available each February and comes into effect
at the end of each March. The Register contains the names and addresses
of electors in a polling district. There will be a separate Register
for each polling district in each council area.
The Format of an electoral register is such that there is a seperate
document for each Polling District. The order of the entries within
each of these documents is discussed in Pollling
during the campaign, you find someone who should be registered to vote
but isn’t they can still apply to join the register up to eleven
days before polling day.
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