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Electoral Registers

We hold electoral registers for the City of Birmingham only, from 1832 until 2001. There are some gaps in the series, including 1916-17 and 1940-44 when registers were not compiled nationally during the world wars.
 
There have been numerous changes to the city boundaries and we only hold registers from the date that an area became part of Birmingham, such as Handsworth and Kings Norton from 1911 and Sutton Coldfield from 1974.

How do I access the electoral registers?

Before 1920, copies of the registers are on microfilm with the parliamentary registers, parochial registers and registers of electors arranged in a single sequence. From 1920 onwards the registers are in bound volumes, also arranged by year. Some Birmingham electoral registers from 1912-1955 are available on http://www.midlandshistoricaldata.org/ These can be searched by name, by address or by both. This website is subscription based but there is free access to this in all Birmingham libraries.

Where do I find electoral registers for other parts of the country?

Try local libraries and Record Offices for the area. The British Library holds a complete set of national registers for the UK from 1947 onwards. They also hold a few registers before the Second World War, but there are significant gaps. See http://www.bl.uk/ and enter the search term “electoral registers.”

What about recent electoral registers?

Access to electoral registers after 2001 is restricted. The registers from 2001 onwards are held at the Birmingham Elections Office, but staff can only confirm details from the current register. There is no access to the information contained in the register between 2002 and the current year. For details of Birmingham Elections Office see http://www.birmingham.gov.uk and enter the search term “Elections Office.”

Who appears on an electoral register?

Registers include the name of every person at an address who is entitled to vote, and has registered, at local and national elections. Qualification for voting has varied over the years and it was not until 1928 that everyone over the age of 21 was eligible to vote. From 1969 this was reduced to the age of 18.