Permanently opt-out of the edited electoral roll

You can use this text to inform your council of your wish to permanently opt-out of the Edited Electoral Roll.


Notice under Section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998 not to use my personal information for direct marketing / share my personal details with third parties


I, [ full name ] of [ full address ] require that you as Electoral Registration Officer for [ council area ] cease or do not begin processing for the purpose of direct marketing personal data which I supply to you in respect of the Register of Electors with effect from the date of this request. In doing so and until I notify you in writing to the contrary, I particularly request that my name be withheld from the current and future versions of the Edited Register of Electors and that this choice be specifically marked on any annual registration forms sent to me in the future.



Posted by on Sep 2, 2013 in Take Action | 13 Comments


  1. billybloggs
    2nd September 2013

    If we all opted out whatever would they do? Absolutely squat.

  2. Edited electoral roll sold more than 2,700 times: New Big Brother Watch research | UK Independence Party In Essex
    2nd September 2013

    […] have produced a draft letter you can use to permanently opt-out of the edited register, which you can find in the Take Action […]

    • luqa
      25th April 2015

      where is that mention take action ?

  3. Karen Heath
    2nd September 2013

    The Credit Reference Agencies were always furious that the judges banned the use of the electoral register for junk mail. The don’t even like the work ‘junk mail’. They now make a lot of money using the full register for the purpose of indicating on statistical grounds that council taxpayers might be thieves thus targeting vast numbers of people, most of whom are innocent of any wrong doing of any sort for fraud investigations.

    This is the biggest unrecognised scandal involving the register.

    Experian and Capita both routinely publish false information to the effect that the register provides strong evidence that people are ‘claiming a single person discount’ incorrectly. There has been so much nonsense talked about this discount, much of it by the Audit Commission that the Ministers took the step a) of writing to the Audit Commission about it and b) writing to the Guardian Money pages about it.

    Briefly, entitlement to what is nicknamed a ‘single person discount’ arises on any day when only one ‘qualifying’ resident has his or her sole or main residence at the address. All discounted bills must be issued on the assumption that the same rate of discount will apply on ever day of the coming tax year. Plainly the electoral register cannot decide who falls to be disregarded or where the sole or main residence of a person it.

    The NFI however, falsely asserts that by looking at the elector you can tell that two contradictory ‘claims’ are being made, one in respect of the electoral register and one in respect of council tax. It does this in what, jaw droppingly, are called ‘Audit Guides’. It also denies making this mistake when speaking to the Minister, and insists that it is not a mistake when speaking to judges in Freedom of Information Tribunals. It persists in doing this despite the Audit Commission Legal Dept sending it a briefing clarifying most of council tax discount law some years ago. It seems beyond reasonable doubt that its notorious barrister’s opinion on whether it could grab the register was obtained on instructions that by looking at the register they could tell that people were claiming a discount to which they appear not to be entitled.

    If you think this is out of order, have a close look at the data mining (they call it data matching) provisions in the Local Audit and Accountability Bill. This, the AC will argue, makes any sort of data analytics used to draw up hit lists of ‘potential fraud’ for investigation legal so long as the exercise overall succeeds in detecting some fraud. Figures produced by councils suggest that well over 90% of the investigations are utterly abortive.

  4. Karen Heath
    2nd September 2013

    See the written evidence of Karen Heath here:


    And she only has room for a small account of this almighty mess.

  5. Eric Toni
    8th May 2014

    I am deeply concerned about the activities of and Experian all linked to the Electoral Register. Experian have entwined themselves into every aspect of financial life and have made themselves “Indispensible” by an insidious gathering of personal information without an individuals permission or knowledge.

  6. dw
    21st July 2014

    I have received a letter from my local council (20th July 2014)you informing me of changes to the voter registration and the fact that I have been automatically re registered under the new system.

    However, for some years now I have had my name removed from the open register and am now very annoyed to find that I have automatically been included in. The local council must have a record of the previous opt out so why was this preference not automatically transferred over?

    This is unacceptable and does nothing to enhance citizen privacy and as far as I am concerned is a cynical method of commercial gain and another reason why many people distrust government.

    I have emailed the council to find out how I opt out but do not hold out much hope of a simple method.

  7. wattie
    19th August 2014

    It seems that removal from the open register is very much dependent on individual councils. The letter I received from my council gave an email address to send my intention to opt out to.But other councils (I noticed Bexley and Conwy) actually inform people that they have a legal right to declare that they wish to opt out permanently.Perhaps this is not allowed under the new system of electoral registration.

    I think it is particularly bad if councils indicate that the only way to opt out is by email. Many older people do not have email or even a computer, but of course that is hard for council officials to understand since they work in an environment that is computer-based. But older people are some of those most at risk if the open register is sold to scammers as often seems to happen. So if you know any older people who do not have computer access, alert them to the fact that they have a legal right to permanently opt out of the open register.

  8. BS
    24th August 2014

    I share the concerns from the other users. What I do not understand is what is in it for me in being included in the Open Register. The gain for companies to have access to my details is clear enough. Unfortunately there is a lack of detail on the web.
    Would you / anyone be able to enlighten me?

  9. JeremyT
    10th September 2014

    This opt-out letter won’t work with the new system of individual registration.
    Westminster says that under Regulations 97 to 101 of the Representation of the People Regulations 2001, even if I opt for the closed register, it will supply my personal details to Crediva, Equifax, Experian and Call Credit, and these can sell my details to each other. They say they won’t sell the info to, but commenters elsewhere say otherwise.
    Can BBW please update its guidance for this area?

  10. Peter Grant
    24th October 2014

    My wife has just received a letter from the council saying she has been transferred to the new ER register and needs to do nothing. I however, have been sent a form to fill in requiring by DoB and NI number, Despite living and voting from the same address for some 30 years, I have no wish to provide the council with any more information than they have already.

    There were provided with an 8 digit number that could be resolved into a DoB, but was not my real one (I’m well over 18!). The call for an NI number will clearly not match anything, and if to retain my privacy I am to be denied a vote – I’ll go down that route.

    The issues is, how best to achieve this – it would appear the easiest solution is to write ‘Gone Away’ or say I’ve moved to Ireland. What have others done, as clearly the data supplied is being used for purposes other than ER, and in my book, that’s a serious misrepresentation.

  11. Donald
    3rd March 2015

    Here’s an example of councils giving such data to subcontractors engaged by local government authority.
    Review of occupancy for “Single Person Discount” undertaken by company Capacity Grid whose CEO (Dermot Joyce) is also CEO of Liberata, and held COO and MD positions in Serco, G4S, Capita. Funding for startup of CG provided £20m by Equinity. Why? unless you were assured of a guaranteed pay-back.


  12. luqa
    24th April 2015

    Under the rules drawn up by the Electorate Commission, if you apply for anonymous registration and are rejected then NO ENTRY OF ANY KIND will be made on the register. In other words, it’s possible to return an anonymous registration form and still have your name and address blocked from appearing on the register, even if the the application is rejected.
    “…If the anonymous registration application is rejected, no entry can be made on the register for that elector either as an anonymous or ordinary elector, not even based on any original canvass form or rolling registration application. If the anonymous application is accepted, the original canvass form is disregarded for that elector and only the anonymous entry shall apply. This does not affect any other people on a canvass form; they should be registered normally unless they also apply for anonymous registration.The application must contain the elector’s reason as to why they are applying for an anonymous entry. The application must also be accompanied by either a court order or an attestation.”