Registering to vote anonymously
Typically when registering to vote, your name and address are added to the electoral register that can be viewed by anyone. However, for some people having this information made publicly available, it can put them or someone in their household at risk. In these cases, registering to vote anonymously is one of the options available to them.
By registering to vote anonymously, your name and address will not appear on the public electoral register, but you can still vote. The process for registering to vote in this way is different though.
In order to register to vote anonymously, you need to complete the application form, explain why your safety (or that of someone in your household) would be at risk because of this information, and you need to supply some evidence to support your application.
The form you fill our to register anonymously is slightly different, and can be found here, if you live in England and Wales, for those in Scotland it can be found here, and for those in Northern Ireland it can be found here.
As you need to supply evidence with your form, this can be either:
- A court document for the protection of yourself or someone in your household. A number of documents can help support your applications, a full list can be found here.
- An authorized person to sign your form that declares your safety, or someone in your household, would be put at risk as a result of being on the public electoral register. This is also called an ‘attestation’. This person may be a refuge manager, a registered medical practitioner, a registered nurse or any of the other specified people named in this list.
Typically if you register to vote with your name and address, this is how you would appear on the electoral register (Source):
BC412 Vella, John 59 Green Lane
BC413 Vella, Veronica 59 Green Lane
However, if you register anonymously, this is how it would appear as:
The ’N’ shows that this entry is from an anonymous voter, hence it is a safe and secure way for you to vote. Once you have been added to the register in this way, you will receive a ‘certificate of anonymous registration’ in order to prove that you have been registered to vote.
Registering to vote this way means you are entitled to register to vote in any of the normal ways, such as in person or by post. If you go to vote in person, you will need to show them your poll card in order to vote. If you want to register to vote by post or proxy, you should get in contact with you local Electoral Registration Officer and they will provide you with the relevant forms, or you can access them on https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/.
As the electoral register is used by credit agencies as one part of verifying people’s identities, registering to vote anonymously means that you won’t appear on this which may affect whether you can obtain credit. Alternatively you can contact any relevant credit agencies and ask to be added to their anonymous elector database. You can show the reference agency your copy of your certificate of anonymous registration for proof of this. Do keep in mind that these organizations are third parties, so make sure you are confident your information is secure.