Registers of Electors appear as the 75th accession on five occasions between 1975 and 1992. These records list those who are eligible to vote in local government and parliamentary elections. At Glamorgan Archives, Registers of Electors are often used by local and family historians who wish to discover how long a family was resident at an address and to locate missing individuals.
The Representation of the People Act, 1832 restricted eligibility to vote to males over the age of 21 who owned property worth at least two pounds a year. Subsequent changes in legislation increased male enfranchisement during the nineteenth century.
It was not until 1918 that women were permitted to vote for the first time in Parliamentary elections, however the voting age was set at 30 and women had to wait a further decade before enjoying the same voting rights as men. Nevertheless, some women do appear in Registers of Electors from the late-19th century, as women who owned property were granted the right to vote in local elections under the terms of the Local Government Act 1894. During 1969 the voting age for all – men and women – was reduced to 18 years.
With their wide coverage and ease of use Registers of Electors are a valuable tool for family and local historians especially when used in conjunction with other resources such as trade directories and census returns.
The earliest register held by Glamorgan Archives runs from 1832 and with the exception of some gaps that include most of the First and Second World Wars these records run to the present.
A complete list of Registers held by Glamorgan Archives is available on Canfod our online catalogue and a research guide can be found on our website at http://www.glamarchives.gov.uk/content.asp?nav=2,19&parent_directory_id=1