Elections and voting - access to / inspection of various records, documents and lists

Access to / inspection of various records, documents and lists


Absent voter records and lists

Absent voter records (postal, proxy and postal proxy voters) and lists are supplied, free of charge and upon request (in writing), to candidates , election agents, registered political parties and elected representatives.

These records and lists do not include the personal identifiers (date of birth and signature) provided by the absent voter.

The records / lists can only be used for research or electoral purposes and for any purposes compatible with the restrictions applicable to the use of the full register of electors by that recipient.

Copies of entries can be made but only using handwritten notes. The use of laptop computers to type in information, recording equipment, scanners etc are not allowed.

Any person may inspect these records and lists, under supervision and the request must be in writing - see below;

Marked registers are copies of the registers used at polling stations  and they show who has voted (not how they voted). These are only available in hard copy. The marked register used for returned postal votes is only available pdf form. There is a charge for marked register (set by regulation) and they are only available to people who were entitled to a copy of the full register for that election and only for 12 months after that election date.

The request to inspect or obtain a copy must be in writing – see application form below’

Application form for a copy of or to inspect absent voter lists or the marked register (PDF 76KB)

Copies of entries can be made but only using handwritten notes. The use of laptop computers to type in information, recording equipment, scanners etc are not allowed.

Election documents

Election documents are securely kept for one year after the election and then are destroyed, unless otherwise directed by a court order.

The only election documents that are not available for public inspection are:

  • Ballot papers, used and unused;
  • Completed corresponding number lists, and
  • Certificates as to employment in duty on polling day.

Any person may inspect these records and lists, under supervision and the request must be in writing  - see application form below:

Any information obtained through the inspection of election documents must only be used for;

  • research purposes within the meaning of Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (research, history and statistics)
  • electoral purposes

Nomination papers (for local elections) are open to public inspection and any member of the public can take a copy of them. They are, however, only able to be inspected from the close of nominations until the day before the poll.

Those election documents that are available for public inspection cannot be copied, either electronically or by handwritten notes. The only exception to this is where a person or organisation covered by Regulation 109 of the RPA 2001 (i.e. police forces, the security services etc) requires the information.

Candidates’ election expenses returns

The election agents of every candidate at an election must submit a return of that candidate’s election expenses, together with relevant bills and receipts, within 35 calendar days of the declaration of result of the election.

These documents are retained for two years from the date the return is received. During this period, the returns are open to public inspection and anyone can request copies of the returns and accompanying documents, on payment of the relevant fee (photocopying charges).

Open register

The Open register is available for anyone to purchase and there are no restrictions on its use. There is a charge for the register (set by regulation) and it can be purchased on a ward, constituency or borough wide basis.

The request must be in writing

Contact us

The Electoral Services Office
Ground floor, Council House
Lichfield Street
Walsall
WS1 1AE


Telephone 01922 652502
Fax 01922 652040
Email electionoffice@walsall.gov.uk

This page was last updated on 12 September 2016