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Why are there two different registers?

There are two versions of the register produced; the electoral register and the open register.

The electoral register

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. 

The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as: detecting crime (such as fraud) or calling people for jury service checking credit applications.

The open register

The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections.

It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.