Post-1974 Electoral Registers

Scope and Content

Electoral registers are lists of names of people entitled to vote, during the lifetime of the register, at an election in the polling districts in which they are listed and are the sole evidence of that right to vote. No-one can vote elsewhere than where they are registered and anyone omitted from the register cannot vote at all. Electoral Registers were first produced under the Representation of the People Act 1832. (2&3 Gul. 4) and continue to the present day with some variations in the amount of information they contain but always governed by Representation of the People legislation.

The registers are compiled by local authorities and are produced for units called 'Polling Districts' which are combined to form parliamentary constituencies. Registers are arranged by polling district (which varies over time) and are not searchable by name. Post 1974 registers include three registers per year covering Colwyn, Glyndwr and Wrexham Boroughs of Clwyd County Council. Post 1996 registers cover the area of 'New' Denbighshire and registers for the former Colwyn Borough area have been retained (1997-2000 only).

As a consequence of new regulations, two versions of the electoral register have been produced since 2003:

- The full version of the register contains the names of all voters and is used primarily to support the electoral process. Public access to it is strictly controlled and the data can only be used for research purposes.

- The open register, also known as the edited register, is available for sale for commercial use for direct marketing, advertising, etc. It omits the names of electors who have exercised their right to opt out to protect their privacy.

This collection consists of the full version registers only. Public access to it is strictly controlled and the data can only be used for research purposes. (See Access Conditions)

For earlier registers (1832-1973) see Quarter Sessions records.

For registers covering Rhuddlan Borough 1974-1995 contact Flintshire Record Office.

For registers covering South Denbighshire areas previously in the County of Merioneth contact Gwynedd Record Office.

For registers relating to other areas 1947 onwards contact the British Library (


Arranged in chronological order.

Access Information

Access to electoral registers is subject to restriction for 10 years after publication, to comply with legislation on Representation of the People and Data Protection. Access is only permitted in the searchroom under supervision of searchroom staff. During supervised access only handwritten notes are permitted. No copies can be provided and researchers will be asked to sign a data protection declaration form on arrival.

Archivist's Note

No laptop or copying device may be used during public consulation of registers dated within the last 100 years. No research by staff on behalf of members of the public (paid or otherwise) is permitted as this can be classed as "disclosing information from the register". There is no restriction on what the researcher can look at i.e. it is not restricted to looking for own entry.

Conditions Governing Use

All registers created before 1 July 1912 are likely to be published works of unknown authorship in which copyright has expired. If the author is known, copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author.

All registers created between 1 July 1912 and 31 July 1989 as published works are out of copyright once they are over 50 years old because they are deemed Crown copyright.

Registers made after 1 August 1989 are the copyright of the local authority, with duration based on the life of the registration officer who is “an officer of the council”, an employee. Copyright would then expire copyright 70 years after the death of the author.

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