How to Search the Electoral Roll
This How to Search the Electoral Roll guide is an extension of a pieces written to also help people with the questions, What is the Electoral Roll? and Am I on the Electoral Roll?
1) Why Search the Electoral Roll?
The Electoral Roll is a regularly updated official source of information. This means the information contained within the Electoral Roll does not significantly degrade over time. In turn this makes it invaluable to individuals and commercial enterprises. As you can imagine, having access to up to date addresses means that it can be a very powerful marketing tool for companies and is an excellent way for individuals to find old friends or relations.
As people in the UK do generally want to vote, albeit only 65% turned out at the 2010 UK General Election, it is one of the most comprehensive information sources available in this country. So in addition to regular updates, it is also incredibly broad in terms of the number of people who have an entry on it. This again makes it a very powerful tool for individuals trying to find someone or companies that have a particular marketing need.
2) Can I Legally Use the Electoral Roll to Find Someone?
Yes. There are rightfully many people who are mindful of Data Protection Laws, however you can use the Electoral Roll to find someone and it is a legal activity. To search the full Electoral Roll you will need to do so under supervision at your Local Council Office. To look at the second, or edited, version of the Electoral Roll this can be done through various online services who are legally carrying out these searches on your behalf.
3) When is the Next Electoral Roll Update?
The next update is due in January 2011.
4) How to Search the Electoral Roll
You cannot search the full Electoral Roll directly through any online UK Government websites. As mentioned previously, you will be re-directed to your local Council Office to attend personally.
There are online companies dedicated to carrying out searches of the edited Electoral Roll on your behalf. There are two methods to carrying out an online search:
- Premium Rate Telephone Services
- Form Submission and Search
A Premium Rate Telephone Service is one way to search the Electoral Roll. This involves calling a researcher at a particular company who will search the Electoral Roll for the person you are interested in. This is convenient, however, controlling the price of the call isn’t in your own hands which may worry many.
The more conventional way of searching the Electoral Roll is to submit an online order form to dedicated companies for the person you are looking for. These are pre-pay services, you enter the person’s name and location and then the results for your search are sent onto you. There are a lot of companies out there so make sure aren’t paying more than £5.00 for this service and at the very least choose one that can respond within an hour. To ensure you get the best quality service, look at the review of these sites and select the one most appropriate to your needs
We hope that we have answered your question and that you have enjoyed reading our guide, How to Search the Electoral Roll.