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The Way You Register to Vote

(29 Posts)
rosequartz Mon 28-Jul-14 12:13:36

The way you register to vote is changing:

It is probably right that we are now registered as individuals and it is not up to the 'head of the household' to be responsible for registering us.

However, the letter I have received states that 'You don't need to do anything else' so many people will believe that they need do nothing more.

However, read your letter carefully when it arrives. If you had chosen previously for your details NOT to be available to third parties for whatever purpose, this request may now have been disregarded. Our County Council has put our names on an Open Register 'available to be bought by any person, company or organisation' and we will have to request to have our names put on the Electoral Register only. This was changed without our permission and we now have to contact the County Council to get this changed back again.

Charleygirl Mon 28-Jul-14 12:17:06

Thank you, that is very helpful. I have no desire to have my name and address sold to the highest bidder.

rosequartz Mon 28-Jul-14 12:31:28

Just an answerphone at the number provided by our County Council for any queries, they obviously are not keen on anyone phoning to request their details be taken off the open register.

Charleygirl Mon 28-Jul-14 12:34:22

I assume that they will be paid for however many names and address they give. Very sneaky.

rosequartz Mon 28-Jul-14 14:52:21

As this has only attracted a response from Charleygirl, and I think it is important, I am wondering what to do next. Perhaps bring it to the attention of GN? Or put it on another thread.

Anne58 Mon 28-Jul-14 14:57:23

I'm here!

Thank you for bringing it up, I have received a letter but must confess I haven't done anything as yet.

I think it would be a good idea to speak to HQ and get them to somehow bring it to everyone's attention. Not quite sure how though.

rosequartz Mon 28-Jul-14 14:58:03

Surely this is not legal? To abitrarily change our previous request for our details NOT to be passed on to third parties to putting our details on an open list available for purchase without our permission should not be allowed to happen.

Have asked for advice from GN about whether this is the correct forum for this.

Ana Mon 28-Jul-14 14:58:47

Or we could just keep bumping the thread up so it stays near the top and more people are likely to read it when they come in.

rosequartz Mon 28-Jul-14 15:04:15

Oh, how do I do that Ana?

ninathenana Mon 28-Jul-14 15:13:16


rosequartz Mon 28-Jul-14 15:19:35

blush Oh, I was looking for a 'bump' heading.

Pittcity Mon 28-Jul-14 16:13:57

I have followed the link in the OP and registered myself and DH again just to be sure we are not on the open list. Thanks for bringing it to our attention rosequartz

rosequartz Mon 28-Jul-14 17:57:36

You're welcome, Pittcity. Of course, the letter from the County Council emphasises that you don't need to do anything else ..... because they want to sell our information!

No reply from our Council as yet.

Charleygirl Mon 28-Jul-14 18:20:13

I received my letter this afternoon telling me that I have been automatically re- registered but more importantly that I am not on the "open register" which could be sold. At least I do not have to take any further action. It was well written and easy to understand.

rosequartz Mon 28-Jul-14 20:24:01

Oh, that is a surprise!

We had definitely opted out of being on an open register before!

Ana Mon 28-Jul-14 21:27:51

Not had ours yet, but I'll certainly be reading the small print - thanks, rosequartz.

Pittcity Thu 31-Jul-14 11:25:04

DH and I each received a letter from local council saying that because of our requests when we re registered we have been taken off of the Open register. I am sure we were not on it before but it is worth making sure for peace of mind .

Iam64 Thu 31-Jul-14 18:58:36

thanks for this, I'm about to fill mine in

rosequartz Thu 31-Jul-14 20:05:41

Just had a reply from the Electoral Registration Officer in response to my query. Part of his helpful reply was this:

Previous practice by the council was to carry over the choice of an electors ‘opt out’ status for the life of their registration. However, recent reviews of legislation and threats of legal actions by companies who benefit from the data, deemed that practice illegal and that every time an elector is renewed on the electoral roll (i.e annually upon receipt of the registration form/confirmation letter) that the elector must re-apply to remove their details from the open register.

So we have to request to be removed from the open register annually.

JoyBloggs Thu 31-Jul-14 20:33:52

Had my letter a few days ago and was very annoyed to read that my name was on the Open Register and that it was up to me to get in touch with them if I wanted it removed. Rang them and said I wanted to be removed and letter came this morning confirming I had been taken off. Feel very grumpy that I had go to this trouble... but seem to spend more and more time moaning so will shut up now and go and water my geraniums.

rosequartz Thu 31-Jul-14 20:45:38

You will have to do it every year, Joy!

JoyBloggs Thu 31-Jul-14 20:58:25

rosequartz Oh dear, that's set me off moaning again! What a pain in the posterior... but thank you for the warning! angry

Iam64 Fri 01-Aug-14 08:03:24

It is a pain, I resent having to stop my name and address or medical records for example being sold on - surely it ought to be assumed the public don't want information about them sold on, or made public.

rosequartz Fri 01-Aug-14 09:22:38

DD2 used to work in marketing and she told me a few years ago that new rules meant that that you had to opt IN ( ie tick the box) to agree to your details being passed on to a 3rd party, so I was very surprised that this does does not apply to the electoral register. Obviously big business has brought pressure to bear - I can't see how this has happened and thought this was not legal. Probably find that money talks and councils are always eager to find new sources of revenue.

Nanatofive Sat 02-Aug-14 15:06:04

Got my letter today and pleased to see that my council have taken the view of honouring previous opt outs. So I only have to do something if I want to be on the Open Register. It seems strange that different councils can make different decision.