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Electoral register

The electoral register is a list of the names and addresses of everyone registered to vote in the Somerset West and Taunton area. This is kept in two versions: the full and the open. It is important that you are registered to vote.

You need to be on the register to be able to vote. You are not automatically registered even if you pay council tax. It can affect your credit rating if you are not registered to vote.

Two versions of the electoral register

The full register lists the name and address of everyone who is registered to vote and is updated every month. You do not have a choice about your details being on this register. We hold a copy. Anyone can look at it, but copies can only be supplied for certain reasons.

The main use of the full register is to show who can vote in elections and referendums. Credit reference agencies can use it, but only to check your name and address if you are applying for credit. It can also be used for law enforcement.

The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for any reason. You can choose not to be on the edited register, which is kept separate from the full register. The edited register can be bought by any person, company or organisation and can be used for commercial activities such as marketing.

Your choice

If you tick the box on the voter registration form, your name and address will only appear on the full register, which is used for elections, referendums and certain other purposes.

If you do not tick the box on the voter registration form, your name and address will also appear on the edited version of the register, which anyone can buy. This means anyone can use your details for any purpose.

You can choose not to have your name showing on the edited register permanently by getting in touch with us

Three more things to remember about registering to vote:

  • you must confirm your registration every year during the annual canvass
  • if you move house, you can register at your new address at any time of the year
  • if you’re living away from home, for example if you’re a student, you can register at more than one address but you can only vote once in any single election