Search past and present electoral rolls online

Published: 10th April 2007
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It's a sad fact of life that people are often parted, never to find each other again. In the past century, the dramatic upheaval posed by certain enormous historical events - World War One, World War Two and the Holocaust among the many - has meant that brothers, sisters and friends have been forced apart. Finding these people again has proved, for many, difficult and often causes years of heartache, pain and misery.

The wonders of technology and the internet, however, have made it much easier for people to find each other among the throes of today's heaving - and widely dispersed - population. Many websites today allow people to search the electoral register for particular individuals - all you have to do is enter a name into a database and you'll be able to find the person you're looking for. 192.com, for example, is the largest UK people finder, with over 200 million names and addresses and access to Electoral Rolls from 2002-2007.

Better still, you can use electoral rolls to look for a people all over the country - from old school friends to old flames. In the UK, the right - and obligation - to register for voting extends to all British, Republic of Ireland, Commonwealth and European Union Citizens. So if you're looking for someone who lives in Britain, but is not a UK citizen, you needn't worry - as long as they have registered to vote sometime in the last five years, it's highly possible that you'll still be able to find them using any online electoral roll search.

The UK Electoral Register for 2007 will contain information on the voter's full name and address. So, you'll be able to contact the person you're looking for quickly and easily.

Searching such a vast database of names may seem daunting; but many sites offer advanced search facilities, so you can narrow down or widen your results. Moreover, sites will sometimes offer tips on how to get the best from your electoral roll search results. These tips may include basic details, like whether or not you need to pay for your search, but can also incorporate more interesting queries such as establishing whether or not you can remove yourself from the electoral roll, or how to find someone by searching by their spouse's name. By following these basic search rules in your electoral roll search, you're likely to find the person you're looking for online.
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Andrew Regan is an online, freelance journalist.

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