Did you know that not everyone has to have their details published on the electoral roll? This makes sense if you and your family members could face a personal risk if your information was accessible to people who may want to cause you harm.
With just a few months to go until the general election, everyone is being reminded to register on the electoral roll. But it is also a timely reminder to people who may face a threat to their safety that not everyone has to have their details published.
The Electoral Act, under section 115, says the Electoral Commission may include you on the unpublished roll if it would be prejudicial to your personal safety, or your family, to have your details on the printed roll.
It particularly applies to those of you who have a protection or restraining order against someone who knows you. It also includes members of the Police and their families.
This unpublished roll can only be viewed by the Registrar of Electors. According to the Ministry of Justice, there were 15,920 people registered to vote on the unpublished electoral roll, as of March this year.
If you think this applies to you, you could request that your information be included only on the confidential unpublished roll. To do so, you will need to download the unpublished roll application form from here. Or you can phone the Electoral Commission free on 0800 36 76 56, and they will post an application form to you.
You will need to give your full name, address, date of birth, contact telephone number and evidence of your situation, such as a copy of a protection order that is in force under the Domestic Violence Act, or a copy of a restraining order that is in force under the Harassment Act.
Other evidence of your personal circumstances can include a statutory declaration from a member of the Police about the threat to your personal safety or that of your family's, or a letter from a barrister or solicitor, employer or a Justice of the Peace that supports your application on the grounds of personal safety.
You remain on the unpublished roll until such time as your circumstances change. Your area Registrar of Electors will write to you from time to time to confirm that your circumstances are the same. You will also need to check your enrolment details and update them during enrolment update campaigns.
As your name will not appear on the printed electoral roll used on polling day, you will need to cast a special vote. These are available from the Returning Officer in your electorate ahead of Election Day or from any voting place on the actual day.