For more details on Poll Books which came before modern Electoral Registers, visit the Poll Book page, including links to a large number of preserved Poll Books which can be viewed online and for free.
An increasing number of electoral registers are being made available online and you can search them for the names you are interested in. Ancestry, findmypast and The Genealogist all offer a number of registers although you do need to have a subscription (or at least signed up for a free trial); see below for more details.
Non-indexed registers are available in most local record offices for the area that they cover but also the British Library has a large collection, about 20,000 covering the period up to 1947 with good coverage from 1885 to 1915, and a complete set since 1947 when under legislation it was required that a copy be sent to them. There are more details here. As the British Library point out in their excellent leaflet on Electoral Registers, "it cannot be emphasised too strongly that printed electoral registers are of very little use in tracing named individuals. Without an address or at least a fairly precise locality for the whereabouts of the person sought, it is generally best to use alternative directories arranged by name."
However, the Library say they have teamed up with findmypast to digitise family history resources from the British Library’s Social Sciences collections and starting in June 2011 and for the next 9 months the project will see the scanning of UK electoral registers covering the century that followed the Reform Act of 1832. Watch this space. While no doubt to access them from home will require a subscription, it could well be possible to access them for free from the Library's Reading Rooms, just as the census transcriptions can be accessed for free from the National Archives in Kew.
Archive.org has County of Durham, Southern Division, 1869
Family Search has a big collection of Norfolk Register of Electors from 1844 to 1952
They can be accessed for free here. You need to select which part of Norfolk you're interested in and then the year. Note however there is no index.
They also have:
Registers for Cheshire from 1842 to 1900 which you can search by name, again for free.
Registers for West Glamorgan from 1839 to 1925 which you can browse for free. Note however there is no index.
Registers for Kent from 1570 to 1907, 131958 images which you can browse. Note however there is no index.
Ancestry have the London Electoral Registers covering the period 1835 to 1965. You need to be a subscriber to view the records but a 14 day free trial is usually available.
They also have ....
Birmingham and Warwickshire Electoral Registers, 1832-1955, a large searchable collection for Birmingham and some of north Warwickshire, over 6.2 million records in total
UK Poll Book and Electoral registers 1538-1893 Collection, a large searchable collection including what looks like a complete set of registers for 1868, over 4.6 million records
Dorset Electoral Registers 1839-1922, searchable, over 1.5 million records
Findmypast have the Cheshire Electoral Records covering the period 1842-1900 and about four million names.
They are also working in conjunction with the British Library to index their substantial collection of Electoral Registers and also are planning to add those for Manchester.
You need to be a subscriber to view the records.
The Genealogist has online access to the following Electoral Registers, including images of the original pages. You need to be a subscriber to view the records.
The areas covered are:
1832 East Somerset Electoral Registers
1832 West Somerset Electoral Registers
1832-3 Worcestershire (Western Division), Register of The Electors
1865-1869 South Devon Register of Voters
1905 Maidstone Register of Electors
1915 Swindon Voters
1918-1919 Dorset Absent Voters
1929 Hampshire, Winchester Register of Electors
1934 Hampshire, Winchester Register of Electors
1936 Hereford Register of Electors
1939 Hampshire, Winchester Register of Electors
You can search the Birmingham Electoral Roll here but you do need to buy vouchers or a subscription from the site.
We always welcome any comments, suggestions or corrections - you can contact us at