Register of electors

The register of electors is a list of everyone who is entitled to vote. You can only vote in elections if your name is listed on the current register. 

The register is also used by many organisations to check your identity. Not being registered at your current address can affect your credit rating, and could prevent you from:

  • opening a bank account
  • getting a mobile phone contract
  • buying a house
  • receiving a student grant

The Government uses the register of electors to decide how much money it gives us to pay for services, so not being on the register of electors could make your Council tax bill more expensive!

It is a legal requirement to have your name included on the register and you are not automatically registered, even if you do pay Council tax. You must complete and update an electoral registration form each year.

You can register to vote if you are:

  • normally resident in the Darlington area
  • over 16 (although you cannot vote until your 18th birthday)
  • a British or Commonwealth Citizen
  • a Citizen of the Irish Republic or of another European Union Member State [external link]

How to register

You can register on the GOV.UK website [external link]. You will need your national insurance number to hand.

You can download the forms to fill in and send if you prefer [external link]

The electoral register and the open register - why are there two registers?

Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).

The electoral register - The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:

  • detecting crime (such as fraud)
  • calling people for jury service
  • checking credit applications

The open register - The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

Your personal information - We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not give personal information about you and the other people in your household to anyone else or another organisation unless we have to by law. 

The electoral register can be inspected by anyone, under supervision. This is regarded as an important safeguard against potential abuse of the electoral system. To arrange to view the Electoral Register, please make an appointment.