Who can vote in elections in the United Kingdom?

Anonymous registration

Some people can apply to be entered anonymously on the Register of  Electors. Although the Register is in alphabetical street order and not name order, there are some people who feel that being on the Register could affect their safety. These include victims of domestic violence, or people whose occupation would mean they must keep their identity private.

If you feel that you are at risk by your name appearing on the Register you can apply to be entered anonymously. If your application is accepted, your name and address will not be shown. Any person living with you can also apply to be registered to vote in this way.

Gaining anonymity

Applications for anonymous registration must be accompanied by either documentary evidence (for example, a court order) or an attestation. Recent changes in the law have expanded the list of qualifying officers able to grant attestation.

The regulations extend the list of eligible documents to include specified Northern Ireland orders for the protection of certain people at risk. The legislation also ensures that any eligible document from any court in the UK is now capable of being submitted in support of an application for anonymous registration made in any part of the UK.

You will need to complete a form giving the reason for needing to be registered anonymously. You are required by law to provide documentary evidence in the form of a court order or injunction.

If you do not have either of these you are required by law for your application to be supported by one of the following people:

  • A police officer of or above the rank of superintendent in any police force in the UK.
  • Director General of the Security Services or the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
  • A Director of Adult Social Services or Children's Services in England, a Director of Social Services in Wales, a Chief Social Work Officer in Scotland, a Director of Social Services or an Executive Director of Social Work in Northern Ireland.  
The qualifying officer does not have to be based in the same area as you, but the attestation cannot be delegated to a more junior person within their organisation.

To apply to register anonymously, please contact Electoral Services.