Every year UK local councils send enquiry forms to residential properties to ask who living at this address is eligible to vote.

What's the point of this?

  • Any thoughts on this. Why does the obvious not satisfy, ie "to find out who living at this address is eligible to vote".
    – James K
    Aug 19 at 19:54
  • @JamesK i dont know why they would need to do that Aug 19 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


It’s to ensure the Electoral Register is both accurate and complete. Local authorities are obliged to carry out this process under the Representation of the People Act 1983. From section 9D:

The purpose of the canvass is to ascertain—

  • (a) the names and addresses of persons who are entitled to be registered in a register maintained by the officer but who are not registered;

  • (b) those persons who are registered in such a register but who are not entitled to be registered.

This is important because the register is not only used to determine who is eligible to vote, but is also used both by the government as a data source for funding allocation, for example, and also by private companies such as credit brokers.

  • I think it is a good way in keeping voter fraud in check.
    – r13
    Aug 19 at 17:44
  • @r13 how does it accomplish that? Aug 19 at 23:45
  • @theonlygusti Locally You have 10 voters eligible to vote, but 15 votes were collected in the end with all voters supposedly qualified through voter registration, where went wrong?
    – r13
    Aug 20 at 1:59
  • @r13 It's either working very well as a check on fraud, or it's an example of shark repellent in a desert: electoralcommission.org.uk/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/… Aug 21 at 16:45
  • @DaveGremlin If fraud is nil, why worry about another check at a low cost?
    – r13
    Aug 21 at 18:21

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