Electoral Registers and Poll Books
Prior to 1928 old 'Citizen's Rolls' were produced.
Citizen's Rolls are lists of voters but they are not very comprehensive, because not everyone was eligible to vote.
In 1867 an act of Parliament allowed men aged over 21 who owned property and who were living in urban areas to be given the right to vote (men living in rural areas got the vote in 1884). Women aged 30 years and over were not given the vote until 1918. In 1928 the voting rights of men and women were made equal, for all adults aged 21 and over. In 1971 the age at which people could vote was reduced to 18 years of age.
Since 1928 the 'Full Register of Electors' gives details of the name and address of every registered person eligible to vote in UK local and national elections.
All registered voters must be included in the Full Register, by law.
Full electoral registers for the current year are provided in all local town/borough/district council offices for public consultation and these are closely supervised at all times.
The arrangement of electoral registers can vary; for example county, borough and district boundaries have altered over the years so you may need to look in more than one area.
Since 10 October 2001 an additional, edited version of the Register of Electors has been published for every ward in the UK.
Inclusion in the edited version is optional: individuals can opt out by contacting the Electoral Registration Officer at their local City, Borough or District Council.
Some (but not all) libraries in Staffordshire have edited versions of the current register for their local area or ward.
These edited versions of registers can be consulted in the library under supervision and can be copied by means of handwritten notes.
Make sure you contact Your Library before you visit.
Old and superseded registers
Some of the larger libraries have collections of old electoral registers for their local area.
Electoral registers are available for the period 1832-1908, 1918-1939, and 1945-2001, for most (but not all) constituencies in the county.
Please contact the record office before making a visit to check that they have the register you need.
At the Stoke on Trent City Archives, electoral registers are available for the City of Stoke on Trent (1857-1863, 1918-1939 and 1945-2001), Hanley and Burslem (1885-1915) and Stoke on Trent (1911-1915).